If you need money fast, and don't have any stashed away, you might turn to payday lenders.
But, there's one way to get a loan that can end up costing you: online.
Website Offers Fast Cash
When Kathy Youtsler needed cash, she went online and quickly found a website offering loans of up to $2,000.
"They were one of the websites I came to," she said. "It was called FastLoan4Me.com."
So, she applied online. Then, she said she got an email that said she was preapproved. All she needed to do was give them her bank information.
"They wanted my routing number, my checking number, which I gave to them," she said. "They said it was a private [secure] site. And that's the last I heard from them."
She said the loan never appeared in her account. But, within days, the company took $30 from her bank account.
"I found an electronic check went through my checking account and they had deducted $30," Youtsler said.
A week later, she said, they took out money again. "This past Friday I had another $30 come out from them," she said.
The worst part: She had authorized it by giving the site her account number.
Trying to Reach Company
The Better Business Bureau gives an "F" rating to Fast Loan 4 Me , and what it says are its sister sites, "Fast Loan Fast" and "Loan 4 U Today." All list the same phone number, which connects to an automated voice recording.
The BBB has received more than 700 complaints about the three companies.
Each of the companies lists a post office box in Nevada as their address, but neither we nor the BBB were able to reach anyone there by calling or emailing. Our email was bounced back, while the BBB says its snail mail letters were returned unopened.
Read the fine print and you'll find out Fast Loans 4 Me is not a lender. It simply puts you in touch with lenders – for a $30 weekly fee.
Youtsler, who's now changing her bank account number, wishes she had known that.
"It's Fast Loans 4 Me," she said, "but I think it's really fast loans for them!"
Never Give Bank Account or SSN Numbers
The BBB cautions that unfamiliar websites are just about the worst place to get a loan.
And remember to never give your bank account info to a lender you don't know, or who does not have a local storefront you can visit and talk to a real person.