The Rise of the Loan Shark

Feb 24, 2023

It is estimated that 1.08 million people in England could be borrowing from an illegal money lender – better known as a Loan Shark. With the Cost-of-Living Crisis no doubt this number will rise as people become in desperate need of cash.

What is a Loan Shark?

A loan shark is an unlicensed moneylender who often charges very high-interest rates and sometimes uses threats and violence toward people who can’t pay. The “customers” are often in a cycle they can not get out of, as the loan shark will push for them to borrow more money to repay another debt.

How to spot a Loan Shark

A Loan Shark isn’t always your stereotypical-looking criminal. They sometimes work from home and could be known and even liked within the local community – that is until people can’t afford to repay them… A report shows that almost two-thirds of loan shark victims in England were introduced to them by a friend or family member, and over half had considered them a friend before lending. They often pray on people who are vulnerable or desperate and feel like they have no other options but to lend from them. Signs to look out for that the person you are lending from is not what they seem.

  • They don’t seem to have any paperwork for you to read or sign
  • No information about the loan or the terms and conditions
  • They don’t do any checks or ask for Identification from you
  • The interest rate is not fixed and will often increase
  • Using threats or violence
  • Pushing you to take out more loans even if you have not asked

What to do if you have lent from a Loan Shark

Firstly, if you or someone you know has lent from a Loan Shark it is not you that has done anything illegal! Loan Sharks will sometimes say that the lender will go to court or prison if they don’t repay the loan, or they report them, but this is not the case! If you think you are lending from a loan shark, then you can call the specialist team on their 24-hour helpline on 0300 555 2222 or use their confidential live chat service, available 9 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday at

Still need a loan?

Here at Mersey Loans, we are authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and with over 65 years in the industry. We are a reputable lender and will still consider you even if you have a low credit score, low income, or have been declined credit in the past.

WARNING: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to

£200.00 payable over 24 Weeks at £12.00 per week. Rate of interest 44% fixed; Representative 401.4% APR. Total amount payable is £288.00 . Compare the price of Home collected and other cash loans at


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