We’re supporting the #SleighNoToLoanSharks campaign
Monday 12 December 2022
Did you know… nearly one in ten people turned to loan sharks to cover the cost of Christmas last year!
It’s a shocking statistic which is why we are supporting the #SleighNoToLoanSharks campaign which aims to protect communities from the devastating effects of illegal money lending in the run up to Christmas.
Follow the safety tips below to protect yourself and loved ones from loan sharks:
- 1. Think carefully
If you’re struggling to make ends meet and need cash fast, the thought of a loan shark might seem tempting, but remember these lenders are not your friends. Debt can quickly spiral out of control – it’s important to think carefully before taking out a loan and consider other options.
- 2. Be vigilant about who you share information with
Do not send money, give out credit card information, your online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust. This information is valuable so make sure you protect it from criminals who can use it to find and stalk you, harass you or threaten those you love.
- 3. Check lenders are genuine
If you’re thinking about borrowing money, it’s important to check that your lender is genuine. Loan sharks operate illegally without the correct permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Do your research first and check the firm or person you’re dealing with is listed on the Financial Services Register.
- 4. Consider other options, like a credit union
When exploitative loan sharks are preying on hardship, it’s vital for people to know there is an ethical, local, not-for-profit alternative available. Credit unions are a lifeline for many people, with their services helping members to save regularly, borrow responsibly and keep track of their finances.
There are other community lenders who are mostly not for profit, and who reinvest any surpluses into serving vulnerable customers, which can be found on the Finding Finance website.
- 5. Know where you can get help or advice if you need it
Getting trapped in a never-ending spiral of debt after borrowing from a loan shark can have devastating consequences, not only on your finances but also on most other aspects of your life, including your mental health, work and relationships with your family and friends.
If you’re worried about a friend or family member, or if you need help yourself, Stop Loan Sharks can offer confidential advice and support.
If you have borrowed from a loan shark or are worried about someone else, Stop Loan Sharks is here to help and keep you safe.
Their specially trained staff will provide you with emotional and practical support that is tailored to your needs.