The dangers of borrowing from a loan shark

From the ‘IMLT 2022 Support Report’ that has been put together by The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), household bills continues to be the main reason for borrowing (this has always been the case).

In the same report, 79% owed money to other lenders besides the loan shark, of which 39% were priority creditors.Average total debt excluding the loan shark was £8,624.

Falling prey of loan sharks

  • 24% of clients borrowed £500 or less
  • Median amount borrowed – £500
  • Median amount repaid – £4,500
  • The lowest amount borrowed was £90 for householdfood/bills
  • The highest amount borrowed was £60,000 for medicalexpenses

Just as there is no typical loan shark, there is no typical loan either, apart from it is very rare that a borrower will repay less than double the amount borrowed.

One client borrowed £500 for household bills and has been making payments for three years, they have repaid £18,000 so far and still owe £500!

Another borrowed £300 and had repaid £100,000 in total.

Some of the ways that loan sharks make you pay:

If a borrower can’t pay here are some ways that loan sharks force their victims to pay:

  • Borrower forced to start dealing drugs to pay back the loan
  • The lender threatened to go to borrower’s place of work and tell people about
    them not paying. This is making the victim stressed because they have people
    that work under them and do not want to be disgraced and embarrassed in
    front of colleagues.

If you are in need financial help, reach out to a credit union that provide ethical saving and borrowing products.


Kelly’s story:

“She seemed nice at first, helping me out, but after a whileI got to know the real person. Initially I borrowed £100 for household bills and had to repay £325. Once I’d paid it back I was left short so had to borrow again. This continued until I was repaying £2,000 a month! She was taking all my wages, child benefit and universal credit. I’d be lucky if I was left with £5 for
food for myself and my family.

I eventually spoke to a housing officer about the situation and they asked if they could put me in touch with the Stop Loan Sharks Team. I was nervous but agreed. The Team worked out that I’d borrowed approximately £2,500 in total and repaid over £26,000! The Stop Loan Sharks Team supported me from day one – I now feel like I’ve had the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders. I’ve finally got my lifeback.”

Bee’s story:

“I heard the devastating news that my mother was seriously ill and I had to travel to see her before she passed away. I asked someone I knew if they had any idea where I could borrow some money. She said that her boyfriend could lend me the cash I needed. I visited him and received £3,000.

After my mother’s funeral I returned and started repaying £600 per month back; I hadn’t realised that although I was paying £600 each time, the balance wasn’t decreasing. Occasionally I was a few days late paying. The boyfriend was very scary and said that he would charge me an extra £20 per day as a penalty fee. The couple came and knocked my door every day
demanding payment, over 7 months I paid back more than £4,000.

I was very stressed and didn’t leave my home for over two months; I couldn’t sleep. I sold jewellery that was very precious to me – given to me by my late husband and I still owed £3,000.

I was so glad I called the Loan Shark Team. I’d recommend to anyone in trouble to do so – then you’ll be safe. I feel I’ve got my lifeback.”

Do you know anyone who has fallen victim of a loan shark? Contact the ‘Stop Loan Sharks’ team by calling 0300 555 2222 or visit our website: for help and advice.

Seven ways to spring clean your finances

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home – it’s also a great time to tidy up your finances. At Hertsavers, we understand the importance of financial health and have put together some tips to help you spring clean your finances.

  1. Review your budget
    Start by reviewing your budget. This means looking at your income, expenses and debts. Make sure your expenses are in line with your income and that you’re not overspending in any areas. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, consider cutting back on non-essential expenses.
  2. Check your credit report
    Your credit report is an important document that shows your credit history. It’s used by lenders to assess your creditworthiness when you apply for loans, credit cards or other financial products. Check your credit report for any errors or inaccuracies that could be affecting your credit score. If you find any mistakes, contact the credit reference agency to have them corrected.
  3. Review your savings
    If you have savings, review your accounts to make sure you’re getting the best interest rate. Consider moving your money to a savings account with a higher rate of interest. If you don’t have any savings, now is the time to start. Even a small amount saved each month can make a big difference over time.
  4. Consolidate debt
    If you have multiple debts, consider consolidating them into one loan. This can simplify your finances and make it easier to manage your repayments. You may also be able to get a lower interest rate, which could save you money in the long run.
  5. Shop around for financial products
    When it comes to financial products like loans, credit cards and savings accounts, it pays to shop around. Compare interest rates, fees and features to find the best product for your needs. Credit unions are a great place to start, as they often offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than traditional banks.
  6. Set financial goals
    Setting financial goals can help you stay on track and motivated. Whether it’s saving for a down payment on a house, paying off debt or building an emergency fund, having a clear goal in mind can make it easier to stay focused and disciplined.
  7. Seek professional advice
    If you’re struggling with your finances or need help setting financial goals, consider seeking professional advice. A financial advisor or credit counsellor can provide guidance and support to help you get your finances in order.

In conclusion, spring cleaning your finances is a great way to get your financial house in order. By reviewing your budget, checking your credit report, reviewing your savings, consolidating debt, shopping around for financial products, setting financial goals and seeking professional advice, you can take control of your finances and achieve financial stability.

Hertsavers embraces equity to support women

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 08 March every year to honor the contributions of women and their achievements in various fields. It is also a day to advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment. In recent years, credit unions have emerged as strong supporters of women, both as employees and as members of the credit union.

Credit unions are financial cooperatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer a wide range of financial products and services, including loans, savings accounts, and insurance. Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations, meaning they reinvest their profits back into the organisation or return them to members in the form of lower interest rates or dividends.

In recent years, credit unions have become champions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They have recognised the important role that women play in their organisations and have taken steps to ensure that women are supported and represented in leadership positions. This is the case at Hertsavers Credit Union where our chair is a woman.

One way that Hertsavers supports women is by offering financial education. We understand that women face unique financial challenges, including the gender pay gap and the fact that women are more likely to take time off from work to care for children or aging parents. By offering financial education through our blog articles and newsletters, we help women develop the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals.

Hertsavers also support women by offering affordable loans and other financial products. We offer low-interest rate personal loans, and other financial products that can help women achieve their financial goals.

In addition to supporting women as members of Hertsavers credit union, we are committed to gender equity in our recruiting of Board members and promotion practices. We recognise the importance of having a diverse workforce and ensuring that women have equal opportunities for advancement.

Embracing equity means recognizing that everyone should have equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics. Embracing equity means acknowledging and addressing the ways in which systemic discrimination and bias have created barriers for certain groups of people. 

This International Women’s Day, we want to reaffirm our commitment to supporting women and promoting gender equity. We do this by continuing to offer financial education and empowerment programs that support women.

In conclusion, Hertsavers Credit Union plays an important role in supporting women and promoting gender equity. Through our financial products and services, as well as our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we are helping women achieve their financial goals and advance in their careers. On International Women’s Day and beyond, we can continue to champion women and advocate for gender equality.