What Are Storefront Lenders? Are They Better Than Online Lenders

Better Than Online Lenders

There are always times in each of our lives when the unexpected happens: someone in the family gets sick, you suddenly get laid off from your job, you come up with a high-potential business idea, a rare investment opportunity presents itself. There really is no way to tell. One thing’s for sure, though. Most of the time, you’ll need money to see it through. Chances are, that’s what led you to our article in the first place. Well, have you ever considered storefront lenders?

In our online world, it’s not that surprising that a lot of us have not even heard of the term before. If that’s the case for you, then don’t worry. You have stumbled upon the right article. In this post, we are going to talk about what storefront lenders are, how they are different from online lenders, and determine when to seek for help from a storefront lender and when to do so from an online lender. Let’s get started! 

What Are Storefront Lenders?

In a nutshell, storefront lenders are lending companies with an actual brick-and-mortar office that you can visit. This office is their main place of operations. That being said, there are storefront lenders with websites and there are online lenders with offices. The lines can get a little blurry in between. Just remember that as long as the main place of operations of a financial institution is offline, then it’s a storefront lender. And if an online lender’s office just serves as a workspace for their employees, but they don’t really receive clients or applicants there since their processes are mostly done online, then that financial institution is an online lender and not a storefront one. 

Storefront Lenders vs. Online Lenders: Which One Is Better?

With that out of the way, we can now move on and talk about the main differences between the two. We have already mentioned the factor that tells them apart above: the method of their operations. However, there are certainly other differences between the two aside from one being mostly online or the other being mostly offline. Here they are: 

  • Human Interaction. One of the biggest factors that differentiate storefront lenders from online lenders is the human element in the lending experience. Online lending websites usually only have online forms that you can fill out to ask your questions, send your application, or follow-up something. Some of them have a chatbot in place to answer basic questions. And there are cases when they have chat support as well, but it highly depends on your online financial institution’s customer service level.
  • Promptness. In relation to the previous factor, storefront lenders can provide you a faster response to your queries since you’ll be talking to their agents directly. Online lenders, on the other hand, can take quite some time to respond especially if you have sent your query through an online form or via email. As for the promptness of processing your application, that really all boils down to the number of applicants at the time and the length of their process. There are both storefront lenders llc and online lenders that offer 24-hour or same-day approvals. It will depend on your chosen loan provider. 
  • Payment Methods. Here’s another significant difference: the payment methods that they offer. There are a lot of storefront lenders that require you to pay your dues personally, through their office. While most online lenders offer online payment methods. Although there are storefront lenders that also offer online methods as well as online lenders that accept over-the-counter bank payments. 
  • Loan Plans. If the payment methods are different, so are their loan offers. Most online lending companies already have different plans formulated. All you need to do is choose the plan that you think works best for you and that’s it. Storefront lenders, on the other hand, can customize your loan plan for your specific needs and payment preferences. 
  • Relationship. Because storefront lenders have a better idea about your financial state, this opens an opportunity for you to forge a personal relationship with them, and maybe even request for more flexible payment terms. Meanwhile, online lenders can be quite isolated from their clients. They can be very technical and there can, unfortunately, be a lack of empathy.  
  • Convenience. But even so, there are a lot of people who prefer online lending due to the convenience that it brings. You can send your loan application through your digital device without even leaving the comforts of your home. One the other hand, it is really necessary for you to visit your storefront lender and file for a loan in their office which can prove to be an unnecessary hassle for those with really hectic work schedules. 

When Should You Choose Storefront Lending?

As you can see, each has its own pros and cons. However, we do recommend storefront lending for people who are not that well-versed online. If technology confuses you or if you simply want someone to walk you through the application process, especially if it’s your first time lending, then you should definitely give storefront lending a try. 

When Should You Choose Online Lending?

On the other hand, if you find interviews rather daunting, then the “human experience” advantage will certainly work against you. In that case, online lending would prove to be the better option for you. It’s also great if you have unconventional working hours and there really is no way for you to visit a storefront lender during their office hours at the moment. After all, you can visit an online lender’s website and send your queries and requirements at any time, during the wee hours of the morning.  


In the end, it will all boil down to your needs and preferences. Honestly, we personally prefer storefront lending. We have found that it provides a better customer experience in general. We understand, though, that each person is different. How about you, do you find storefront lenders better? Or would you rather file for a loan online? 

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