Loan sharks are illegal and unlicensed money lenders. People who lend money as a business, without a consumer credit licence, are committing a serious criminal offence.
This type of lending has an extremely high rate of interest. Loan sharks use intimidation, or threats of violence, to get you to repay the debt to them. Even if the lender seems reputable, they still have no legal right to lend money without a licence.
If you want to check whether your creditor holds a license, you can call the Office of Fair Trading Consumer Licensing line on 0207 211 8608 with the name and trading address of the company. They will be able to tell you if the creditor holds a current consumer credit licence.
If you’ve got a loan from a company without a licence, we strongly recommend you contact Stop Loan Sharks for confidential help and advice on 0300 555 2222.
The Police and Trading Standards are keen to prosecute anyone found lending money in this way.
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