Online credit app caveats

SAN ANTONIO - You can use a smart phone, tablet or laptop to apply for credit from just about anywhere.

While it is more convenient, it also leaves room for more confusion.

"Having somebody show up with an IPAD, fill out an application for you, typing your name and your social security and you're giving them that information, that's not necessarily illegal," said Consumer Law Attorney Tyler Weatherford.

The Uniform Electronic Transaction Act makes electronic contracts just as valid as paper contracts.

"An electronic signature or just checking yes I agree, that's the same as your signature," Weatherford said.

A few more dos:

  1. Do insist on reading each page before swiping to the next page
  2. Do ask the name of the company handling the financing
  3. Do demand the application be printed out for you
  4. Do ask about the terms of financing

You can and should also insist on a copy of the cardholder agreement, which financing companies are obligated to provide.

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