Is It Safe to Submit an Online Credit Application on a Dealership’s Website

Before you can drive away with a new car at a dealership, you must first be certain that you can obtain the financing that you need for the purchase. If you have a bank account fat enough to pay the price of a new vehicle in full at the time of purchase, then the following information does not apply to you. But we all know that the average individual needs time and payment terms to make a purchase as large as buying a vehicle.If you are curious to see if you would be approved for financing before ever stepping foot in a dealership, the option of finding out online is available to you through a majority of dealerships’ websites. However, before you begin divulging all of your personal information into any site with an online credit application, you should be educated as to how to make sure your information is not going to be used for illegal purposes.

Signs a Site is Legitimate

Con-artists will go to whatever extreme is necessary to make sure that they have enough money to pay their own bills. And they do not care about the lives that they hurt along the way. However, you do not have to be a victim of a criminal who has created a bogus website that was built to look as real as possible.
So when you visit a dealership’s website to fill out an online credit application for financing, make sure to check that all of the letters in the domain name appear exactly as they should.
Many criminals are masters at disguising a website to look just like the real thing simply by changing one or two letters in the domain name. In addition, you can look at the contact information listed on the site to make sure that the address and phone number of the dealership appear exactly as they should. By taking a few extra seconds to make sure that you are on a real website, you could save yourself from dealing with an identity-theft disaster.

Signs a Site is Secure

Before you are tempted to start typing in all of your personal information on any dealership’s website, there are a few signs that you should look for to be certain that you are not providing a scam artist with all of the information he or she would need to turn your life into a nightmare.
First, you can check to see if there is a padlock in the search bar next to the domain for the site that you are at. If the padlock is present, then that is a positive sign that the website is secure. Next, make sure to pay special attention to the URL for the site that you are visiting. If the letter “s” appears after the “http” at the beginning of the URL, you can proceed with the peace of mind from knowing that the site is secure.
If there is no padlock present or “s” after the “http” in the URL, you should leave that website immediately without entering any of your personal information. If you neglect this advice, you will have only yourself to blame when your information ends up in the wrong hands. Another way to add to your trust that a site is secure is to thoroughly read the privacy policy that should be available for you to see on the site.

The Pre-Approval Option

Even after you have taken all of the necessary steps to ensure that a dealership’s website is legitimate and real, you may still have some trepidation about entering all of your information. After all, your social security number, date of birth, and other information can be used for a variety of illegal purposes if a criminal were able to see it all. So if you do not want to enter all of your most precious information into a website but still want to see if you will be qualified for financing, you can make the choice to seek pre-approval. By taking this route, you will be able to have a better idea of what to expect when you meet with the credit department at the dealership.
While completing your financing application online can save you time and give you peace of mind before you arrive in person to complete the car-buying process, putting your information in jeopardy could lead to several other issues that could give you headaches for months to come. So be safe with your personal information. And remember that the best way to ensure your information is safe is to be smart. In other words, take the time to know the ins and outs of the world of financing applications before you begin the process of buying a new car.