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Loan sharks can cause a whole lot of extra stress and worry, rather than helping you to solve your money troubles. Once you start using a loan shark, they are very difficult to get rid of.

Are they a loan shark?
There are some tell tales signs that the person trying to lend you money is a loan shark:

•    There’s no credit agreement for the loan
•    They are likely to use threats, violence or intimidation
•    They probably won’t give you a receipt for payments or any payment book to track payment history
•    They might take valuables before lending you money
•    They will lend to under 18s
•    There are high charges if you don’t keep up with payments

If you have any suspicions about someone who offers you a loan, no matter how small, reports it to: or call 0300 555 2222
Borrow safely
Before taking out any sort of loan you should always make sure you have a written agreement setting out what you’re borrowing, what you have to pay back and by when. Always make sure you know how much interest you’ll be expected to pay back and what extra penalty charges you’ll need to pay if you fall behind with your repayments.