Loan sharks

Loan sharks

What is a loan shark?

To lend money lawfully you have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). People who lend money without being FCA authorised are breaking the law. They are known as loan sharks.

Loan sharks often work from home, charge very high rates of interest and don't give you much paperwork to confirm the arrangements they have made with you.

Loan sharks often take other illegal action to collect the money they have lent you, such as threatening violence or taking away your credit cards or valuables. In extreme cases, they have been known to force non-payers into prostitution and drug dealing.

If a loan shark threatens you or acts in a violent way, contact police straight away.


What action can you take?

How to report a loan shark


More help

Find out more on the Citizens Advice website.


Page last reviewed August 2022