26 September 2022
Loan Shark Campaign
Members will know that Manchester Credit Union is a partner of the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) and supports the work they do to fight against illegal money lending.
Did you know that it is estimated that over 1 million people could be borrowing from a loan shark and that number has trebled since 2010?*
IMLT are launching a new campaign today called #LetsTalkLoanSharks which encourages people to open a conversation about the dangers of loan sharks as well as highlighting the support that is available to those who have been affected. The campaign will focus on vulnerable people who may not be aware they are being exploited and are in significant danger of harm if they do not make the repayments. Loan sharks use coercive control and psychological threats to keep victims trapped in an endless cycle of debt for years.
Many people keep the fact they use a loan shark to themselves due to a feeling of embarrassment or fear of reprisals from the lender, but this campaign encourages us to ‘Ask a question’ so that they know they are not alone and help is available. Questions such as “Are you paying back more than what you borrowed” and “Has anyone acted aggressively towards you” are ways to start a conversation.
If you believe someone you know might be involved with a loan shark there are warning signs to be alert to. Extortionate rates of interest, no paperwork for the loan and handing over personal items to the person they owe money to are strong signs that they are using a loan shark.
If you have concerns for yourself, a family member or friend, confidential advice and support is available from IMLT. Call the Stop Loan Sharks 24 Hour Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or visit the website for more information at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. There is a live chat facility on the website between 9am and 5pm each weekday.
*Source - Centre of Social Justice Report – March 2022