Image showing poster from Stop Loan Sharks, advising what to do with a loan shark

Not Sure What Are Loan Sharks?

Obviously, loan sharks will make life worse. And as National Debt Awareness Week takes this March,  it’s, of course, very easy to say you shouldn’t borrow from a loan shark. However, sometimes you might not even realise what you are getting yourself into.

by Claire Kendall

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions you might be borrowing from a loan shark:

  • Did they offer you a cash loan?
  • Did they give you paperwork or not?
  • Did they add huge amounts of interest or APR to your loan?
  • Have they threatened you?
  • Are you scared of people finding out?
  • Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you?

Equally important, if you think you, or a family member, may be dealing with a loan shark please report them to the Stop Loan Sharks team.

Stop Loan Sharks investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders, while they also provide support for borrowers in the UK. They have specially trained staff to provide emotional and practical support and they’ll also keep you safe.

Report Loan Sharks:

Call them 24/7 on 0300 555 2222

Website: STOP LOAN SHARKS You can complete an online reporting option.

Useful Organisations to Avoid Loan Sharks

If you find yourself in debt there are charities that can help. You can speak to Citizen’s Advice as well as specific organisations that look after debt-related problems.

Step Change

Step Change offers a team of debt experts who help thousands of people every week to deal with their debt problems. Overall, their help aims to help get your lives back on track.


MK Money LifeLine

MK Money LifeLine offers practical help to people in debt through telephone advice for simple debt or money advice queries. In addition, they can offer personal appointments for more complex issues. They are committed to providing helpful advice in budgeting and can even negotiate with creditors on your behalf, where appropriate.

Their vision is to enable as many people as possible in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas to understand and manage their finances effectively. This means helping local residents to reduce debt problems as well as the emotional challenges this brings.  


Finally, loan sharks will cause more problems than the debt itself, take advice.