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Loan sharks

If you or your business face debt or money problems, don't ever be tempted to use a loan shark. A loan shark is someone who lends money as a business without the necessary Consumer Credit Licence from the Office of Fair Trading.

Loan sharks prey on the most vulnerable, take advantage of the poorest and won't be afraid to use violence. They charge astronomical rates of interest, with penalties and increased charges for late payments.

Please report any information in the strictest of confidence in any of the following ways:

You can also visit for more information.

How you can help

  • Have you, or anyone you know, been offered a cash loan?
  • Have you been threatened when you couldn't pay?
  • Has your benefit or bank card been taken from you?
  • Does what you owe keep growing even though you are making payments?
  • Do you know the total amount owed, the interest or how to cancel the loan?

If you're an organisation working with vulnerable people:

  • Has your client borrowed from 'a friend'?
  • Is the 'friend' lending to others too?
  • Does your client have paperwork relating to the cash loan?
  • Have benefit books/bank cards or other securities been taken?
  • Is your client scared of what will happen if they miss any payments?