(WTOL) -

The Better Business Bureau has a warning for people about advance-fee loans.

The loans have been around for years, but continue to be an issue. They target people who are in a pinch for money and are looking for any way to make ends meet.

The BBB says the advance-fee loans are advertised everywhere from emails to Craigslist. They promise to give people loans, no matter what the financial situation is.

The catch: The person has to pay an advance fee to get the loan.

The problem: Once the fee is paid, the loan never comes, and the fee money is lost. In face, advance-fee loans are illegal.

BBB officials say people in a financial hardship are most often the victims.

If someone says over the phone, lsquo;we can get you a loan, or we dont care what your credit is, just send us the fee, and weve got your money, its a scam. said Dick Eppstein, President, BBB of Northwest Ohio. You dont want to lose even more money on a rip off, that will get you deeper in the hole.

Eppstein says real lenders take the fee out of the loan, so youll never have to pay that upfront.

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Ablrate, a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers investors access to asset-backed loans against aircraft transactions, announced that is has completed over £3 million in funded loans.

Ablrate broke £3 million in funded loans just over a year since official launch, with £1 million being completed in the last six weeks.

CEO of Ablrate,David Bradley-Ward, shared:

"Although it is a significant milestone, hitting £3 million is not necessarily the full story, but the fact that 30% of this was achieved in the last 6 weeks, which shows that the new platform and the processes we have spent time developing are producing results. Also of great significance is that our pioneering secondary market, which offers a full bid and offer system that gives best execution opportunities to investors, has turned over £250,000 since its full launch in July".

He then added:

"Reaching £3 million is a good step forward and achieving £1 million in the last six weeks is great, but we now aim to begin the process of increasing loans available and lender acquisition to make sure that this progress continues over the coming months. We aim to provide our lenders with great opportunities to lend into and we thank them for their business and for the significant help they have given in the development of our platform."

JPMorgan Chase may be the second-largest mortgage lender in the nation, but when it comes to government-backed, low down-payment Federal Housing Administration loans, its not even in the top 100. Onerous regulations and the constant threat of litigation have all but stalled originations of these loans, which were originally designed to help first-time homebuyers with lower credit scores and less cash.

FHA requirements are down to a 520 FICO (credit score) and you only have to put 3.5 percent down; thats subprime lending, and were not in the subprime lending business, said Kevin Watters, CEO of Chase Mortgage Banking.

Chase Mortgage has not stopped doing FHA loans entirely, but its FICO requirements are far higher, and its loans are more expensive to price in the added risk.

El Paso County will be one of eight Colorado counties to receive federal aid to clean up from landslides, the Small Business Administration announced last week.

The county was awarded a disaster declaration for landslides on Thursday, an action that triggers several loans ranging from several thousands to millions of dollars for El Paso County residents, said Yolanda Stokes, a spokeswoman for the SBA. Starting on Tuesday, the SBA will be setting up shop in Colorado Springs until Oct. 1, at the Colorado Springs Fire Department headquarters, at 375 Printers Parkway, from 8 am to 5 pm. For the next few weeks, El Paso County residents can visit the center and get help applying for loans to repair landslide damage on their properties.

Since April, there has been a slew of landslides around the county, from Rockrimmon to the Cheyenne Mountain neighborhoods. Landslides can be caused when excessive moisture causes the earth to slide over the bedrock - they can happen quickly, or slowly move for years. In most cases, there is very little that can be done to stop them, beyond stabilizing the surrounding landscape.

Heres what residents need to know about landslides and SBA loans in El Paso County:

Where have there been landslides?

There have been four major areas within the city of Colorado Springs that have been impacted by landslides: homes in Rockrimmon, homes in the A-1 Mobile Home Park, homes on Constellation and Zodiac Drives in the Cheyenne Mountain area, and landslides in the Broadmoor Bluffs area.

What public money has been used thus far to help with the landslide problems?

As of mid-September, the steepest cost to the city of Colorado Springs has been the Rockrimmon landslides, for which the city contracted with Wildcat Construction to do around $2.8 million of work. For the Cheyenne Mountain area and mobile home park landslides, the city paid around $1,000 each for geological assessments by CTL Thompson Geotechnical. The Broadmoor area landslides were assessed by the Colorado Geological Survey at no cost to the city.

Other homeowners not in Rockrimmon affected by landslides will have to bear the cost of repairs on their own, as the landslides are still occurring and are not impacting city infrastructure or land. Landslides in these other areas cannot be stopped.

The Rockrimmon homes are along the Rockrimmon Channel, which is in the Rockrimmon Open Space owned by the city. The landslides were impacting city stormwater concerns, so work on the landslide area could be included in existing stormwater projects, said Tim Mitros, the city stormwater manager.

What is an SBA loan?

The Small Business administration offers money to homeowners impacted by disasters through a low-interest loan program. Loan terms can be set for up to 30 years, depending on a homeowners ability to repay the loan, said Stokes.

The money is loaned directly from the US Department of Treasury. Unlike grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency - which are limited when it comes to individual use and given a $32,000 cap - the larger SBA loans can help homeowners, renters and business owners whose homes or businesses were impacted by disaster.

What counties are eligible for SBA loans?

The disaster declaration has made loans available in Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Lincoln, Pueblo and Teller counties. The time period for eligible landslides is from April 24 and onward.

How much money can I get through an SBA loan?

There are three categories of loans available for El Paso County, home disaster loans, business physical disaster loans and economic injury disaster loans. Economic injury loans are available to those whose loss of business and income prevents them from meeting the financial terms of the loan.

Loans for a homeowner for repair or replacement costs for a primary residence can be up to $200,000. For any personal property owners - including renters - loans can be up to $40,000. For business owners or private non-profits, loans are available for up to $2 million. If you are a homeowner who also owns a home-based business, you may apply for an SBA loan for your home damage, and you may also apply for a business loan for your business damage said Stokes.

For information about credit requirements and interest rates, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

Student loan debt dogs not just young people, but also an increasing number of retirees. Some 700,000 Americans on Social Security are still paying on student loans, and last year the government garnished a portion of disability and retirement payments due nearly 160,000 people with education debt.

The statistics show that the student loan problem transcends generational lines and that any solution must include some measure of forgiveness for seniors of limited means.