Portage, MI asked in Consumer Law, Banking and Business Law for Michigan

Q: Are there any licences/regulations required for personal finance websites w/affiliate links for loans, credit card, etc?

Curious about starting a website like Nerdwallet or Bankrate.com, where we write articles about financial products/services and have affiliate links to personal loan companies, credit cards, insurance, investments, loans, etc. We wouldn't provide any goods/services ourselves, but would just be affiliate marketers for banks, lenders, brokerages, etc. Are there any licenses or regulations we would need to follow? Thank you!

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: This is not legal advice.

Perhaps. There certainly are regulations that personal finance websites must follow when selling or promoting financial investments and tools. You may consider investigating whether or not the website is required to disclose any material connections or financial incentives that it has with the companies it is linking to.

You might also consider learning about the Federal Trade Commission which may require websites to disclose certain facts. It might include affiliate relationships, where the website earns a commission if a visitor clicks on a link and applies for a loan or credit card. Regardless as to whatever you conclude, you might consider a voluntary clear and conspicuous disclosure.

It is also possible that websites that offer loans or credit cards must comply with other state and (non-FTC) federal regulations and agencies. In furtherance of that, you might consider learning about the Truth in Lending Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

You're on the right track, but you might be further ahead hiring an attorney to offer legal advice and to help you through this.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.