With Christmas fast approaching, money is on everyone’s mind. With it being Loan Shark week, I thought it would be useful to offer some advice on how to spot a loan shark and how to get in touch with us if you are struggling with rent.

Loan Shark week is a campaign run by England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT). Loan sharks are different from authorised money lenders. They charge very high rates of interest. They don't give you much paperwork to confirm the arrangements they've made with you. Loan sharks also take other illegal action to collect the money they've lent you, such as threatening violence or taking away your credit cards or valuables.

Here are some useful tips to help you protect yourselves from loan sharks online:

  • Beware of loan adverts with no credit checks.
  • Beware of any requests for your details or money.
  • Know who you're dealing with. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) keeps details of all authorised lenders so If a lender isn’t listed as having a current authorisation to lend money, don’t borrow money from them.

If you suspect someone may be a loan shark or they are acting inappropriately, you can report them anonymously to www.stoploansharks.co.uk or by calling the Stop Loan Sharks Helpline on 0300 555 2222.

We don’t want any of our tenants to be involved with loan sharks for their own safety and we don’t want any of our tenants to be worrying over Christmas about money and paying their rent. If you struggling to pay your rent, simply contact us, text your name and address to 07797800730 or email enquiries@sixtownhousing.org and we will contact you. There are a range of benefits that you might be able to claim that we can help you with so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can view more guidance about loan sharks here.

- Blog by Sue Currie, Neighbourhood Advisor

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