Is there such a thing as legal loan sharks?
The best advice if you are thinking of dealing with a loan shark is ‘don’t do it’.
Find Legal Loan Sharks?
Loan Sharks are unlicensed money lenders who charge very high interest rates, extra charges and fees and sometimes use threats and violence to frighten people who can’t pay back their loan on time. This includes loan shark loans online as well.
So What is a Loan Shark?
A loan shark is anyone who is an unlicensed moneylender and can be an individual person or even a company set up for the purpose.
Licensed money lenders are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and must follow the Financial Conduct Authority’s codes of practice.
However, as loan sharks are not licensed, they actually operate outside of the law, so there is no such thing as legal loan sharks.
If you have borrowed from them or are thinking of borrowing from one it’s likely you will:
- get a loan but on very bad terms
- pay an extremely rate of interest
- be harassed or worse if you get behind with your agreed weekly payments
- be pressured into borrowing more from them in order to repay one debt with another
What do I do if I have borrowed from a loan shark?
If you have borrowed money from a loan shark you are actually under no legal obligation to repay the debt. It sounds strange, but it is strictly legally true, although the loan shark might not see it that way!
Contact your local Trading Standards Office right away and they will help you deal with your situation and the loan shark as well.
Is it a crime not to repay a loan shark?
If a lender is not licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority, then they have no legal right to recover the debt. Loan sharks sometimes frighten people by saying they will be prosecuted and even sent to prison if they don’t pay up, but this cannot happen.
Not repaying a loan from an unlicensed lender, which a loan shark is, isn’t a criminal offence.
There are other ways to borrow
If you need a loan, always go to a licensed lender or use a licensed broker. We are licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority and all of the loan companies we advertise on this website are also registered and approved, so you can apply knowing that you are covered by the regulations in force.
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