Struggling Brits Warned Off Loan Sharks as Growing Numbers Seek Debt Advice
August 13, 2019
People living in England and Wales are being warned against resorting to loan sharks if they’re struggling for money, as more and more men and women are found to be reaching out for third party advice on coping with debt problems.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has said it wants to see loan sharks given stricter sentences by law enforcement for engaging in illegal and often ruthless acts of exploitation.
Council leaders from across the country have warned that loan sharks are highly dangerous for people who find it hard to manage their money and have problems with debt.
The LGA says that loan sharks generally charge “sky-high” interest rates, rely on extortion to make their profits and typically serve only to push people who are already having trouble with money into increasingly worse financial situations.
Councils have collectively said that they want to work closely with voluntary and private sectors partners to support people who find themselves in real financially difficulty and help them to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous loan sharks.
The LGA says that even where cash flow problems become a real emergency for people, they should take a moment to step back and think carefully about how they can best deal with their predicament.
The association notes that there are now more than 12,500 people every week in the UK who reach out for third-party help in dealing with their debts, which equates to roughly one person every 48 seconds.
Hundreds of thousands of people every year now seek expert advice on debt problems and financial worries more generally, according to the latest figures on the subject.
“We know many people are struggling to make ends meet, but loan sharks should never be used – they are despicable criminals who make vast sums of money preying on vulnerable people with money problems,” said Morris Bright, vice chairman of the LGA’s ‘Safer and Stronger Communities’ board.
“Anyone struggling with debt problems can contact their local council or advice provider first. There are also charities offering similar services.
“These will all be focused on offering genuine help in the most affordable way, rather than unscrupulous loan sharks who profit from other people’s misery and should be avoided at all costs.”