Unless you are taking out a loan at a commercial banking entity, preferably where you have your account and where your paycheck, or rather salary is being deposited, you may have a serious trust issue applying for a loan at a place you are not familiar with. There are many checks cashing places around, payday loan places, logbook loan places and all kind of other lending vehicles, but there is only one place where you can verify if such a place is legit or not. Before you put your signature on the dotted line, make sure you are doing business with someone who will not send goons to your door, the minute you are late with a payment.
The Financial Conduct Authority issues licenses to companies and individuals who provide consumer credit services. Such include personal loan providers, brokers of credits, credit card issuers, but also payday loan companies, peer to peer lenders and logbook loan providers, just to name a couple. All of these consumer credit license holders are contained within a searchable database online, where you can verify that the place you intend to do business with is also registered, licensed and legitimate. This regulation used to be handled by the Office of Fair Trading and has just recently been made part of the FCA.
All firms that did have a license by the OFT have received a temporary license by the FCA, but need to receive, or rather apply for, a full membership and authorisation, in order to be allowed to continue providing consumer credit services. Such a permit is being entered in the newly created Financial Services Register, which will in due time fully replace the Consumer Credit Register and contain all consumer credit firms registered in the UK. Therefore, before you sign your application for a loan, make sure that your provider is truly licensed to provide consumer loans and search the aforementioned databases for your own safety and as a precaution.