In situations like this, loan sharks will target you. They may appear friendly and if you keep up your repayments, they might stay that way. But the reality is, even if you do, any money you borrow will come at a very high price.
There are many risks attached to borrowing from a loan shark:
- you pay far more in interest than you would through any legal borrowing.
- you might be harassed or threatened if you get behind with your repayments
- you might be pressured into borrowing more money to repay one loan with another, and end up in a spiral of debt that you can never repay.
KEEP IN MIND – a loan shark might:
- offer little or no paperwork, such as a credit agreement or record of payments
- refuse to give information, such as the interest rate or how much you owe
- take items as security, such as passports, bank cards or driving licences
- increase the debt or add additional charges at any time
- refuse to allow you to settle your debt
- get nasty – they might resort to intimidation, threats or violence
If you’re thinking about using a loan shark because you are strapped for money anywhere else – GEMMA suggests that:
- Speak to your Parish Priest
- Speak to Caritas
- Speak to a trusted family friend
- Speak to a Bank.