Take a bite out of loan sharks

174318732 [Converted] copy.epsCoping with debt can leave people feeling trapped. But to be bitten by suffer the bite of a loan shark is something entirely different. We hear about loan sharks regularly in the news, but it’s not always easy to tell loan sharks from other types of lenders.

What are loan sharks?

They are illegal moneylenders operating without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. By lending without a licence they’re committing a serious criminal offence.  Loan sharks often charge high interest rates and use intimidation or threats of violence to pressure people into paying up.

Why are loan sharks a bad idea?

Aside from being illegal, loan sharks can seem friendly and charming at first. They often introduce themselves as ‘a friend of a friend’ who heard you were struggling. They can be hazy with the details, glossing over things such as the interest they’ll expect or the lack of paperwork they’re carrying.

What to do if you think you’ve borrowed from a loan shark

1)      Check if they have a licence to lend money by visiting www.fsa.gov.uk

2)      If they don’t have a licence, contact the government’s illegal money lending team on 0300 555 2222

For more information about money or loan sharks visit www.gov.uk