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Beware of loan sharks this Christmas

Beware of loan sharks this Christmas

Loan sharks are unlicensed criminal lenders who often prey on vulnerable people that might struggle to get credit. Victims are often unaware of the law protecting them and too frightened to seek help….and it’s becoming a growing problem. Data shows that Christmas is the second-highest reason that people borrow money from a loan shark, and the majority of these people live in social housing.

This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally by the pandemic and unfortunately, illegal moneylenders will look to take advantage of people when cash is tight and mislead them into thinking it is the only solution.

At Jigsaw Homes Group, we are committed to a zero-tolerance approach for loan sharks. Our Money Advice team are always available to talk about any money worries residents may. If you are a Jigsaw Group resident and struggling with money, please speak to us first. We can help work out your incomings and expenditure and look at the options for more affordable access to loans if needed.

We are advising residents to watch out for warning signs of loan sharks and report them if they are approached by one. Warning signs of a loan shark include:

  • They give little or no paperwork
  • Avoid telling you the interest rate or how much is still owed
  • Add random charges or keep increasing the amount
  • Take items as security, such as passports, bank cards or driving licences
  • Refuse to allow you to settle your debt
  • Resort to intimidation, threats, or violence.

Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222. You can also find additional information and support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.

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