Before even considering finding a loan shark, take a step back and think about this...
Did you know that loan sharks leave victims in debt all year long?
Well, it's actually true. The research figures from last year are just plain shocking. It's estimated that low income families borrowed around £29 million in total from illegal money lenders just ahead of Christmas. That equates to around 100,000 of the UK's poorest, who were be indebted to the tune of a whopping £82 million of debt simply to fund their Christmas, after borrowing loans from loan sharks.
If you need a loan shark, think about the interest rates, which can range from 825 per cent right up to 1500 per cent. This would result in these poor families having to repay approx. £82 million. The money borrowed from illegal loan sharks over the festive season, account for approximately half of loans that these individuals are thought to have lent in the last year. So, it should come as no surprise that Christmas is a practical boom time for the illegal lenders.
Whilst these figures can only demonstrate the scale of illegal money lending right across the UK. The average person borrowed around £300 over Christmas, but their repayments will total more than £800; it's also likely that they still be in debt by next year's Christmas.
What is a loan shark?
If you need to find a loan shark, first consider that fact that a loan shark lends money without a licence and is in actually breaking UK law. In order to legally lend money in the UK, you must be licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Many loan sharks often work from home, and charge high interest rates. They typically don't offer any paperwork at all to confirm your loan agreement, and so are very difficult to trace.
Loan sharks may even perform illegal acts to extort money from you, like threatening behaviour or violence. They may also take your goods or valuables as security. There have even been documented cases where loan sharks in the Uk have forced women into prostitution and drug dealing. So, if you find a loan shark who threatens or acts violently against you, then it's important that you contact the police immediately. Most police forces have an Illegal Money Lending unit. You can also contact the local Trading Standards to discuss your problem in confidence.
If you're in need of cash, then it's far better to borrow from a legal money lender.