Money Wellness
Piggy bank surrounded by bear trap
category icondebts
calendar icon24 Oct 2023

Loan sharks preying on families with kids

To mark Stop Loan Sharks Week, we’re looking at how illegal lenders prey on parents - often tricking them into believing they’re a friend.

Recent research from Action for Children revealed loan sharks are targeting families with children.

Analysis of data from over 5,000 UK households showed that those with kids are six times more likely than adult-only homes to borrow from illegal lenders.

People pretending to be something they're not

The theme for this year’s Stop Loan Sharks Week (24 – 31 October) is people pretending to be something they’re not.

Over the past year, over half (56%) of the people the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) have helped believed the loan shark was their friend when they first borrowed cash from them.

Some loan sharks also pretend to be linked with legal lenders that have closed.

Make sure you do your research before borrowing from any company and question if an individual offering to lend you money is really your friend.

To help you avoid getting caught out, we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about loan sharks.

Already borrowed from a loan shark?

If you’re in already debt to a loan shark, report it to Stop Loan Sharks. The service is free and completely confidential. And by reporting a loan shark, you’re helping the IMLT put these crooks out of business.

It’s not a crime to borrow from a loan shark, but it is a crime to be a loan shark.

And if you need help getting your money back on track, we're here for you. You can access our free debt advice online 24/7 at a time and place to suit you. Or if you prefer to speak to someone on the phone, call us on 0161 518 8282. We're here 8am to 8pm during the week and between 10am and 4pm over the weekend.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

Related posts


01 May 2024

Domestic violence survivors' safety at risk from rise in court fees

Before they apply for insolvency, domestic violence survivors can ask for their address to be withheld from the insolvency register. But there’s a cost and from today it’s becoming even more expensive.


26 Apr 2024

Barclaycard change could see customers hit with higher interest

Find out how a charge to Barclaycard’s terms could see you paying off your debt for longer and paying more interest.


24 Apr 2024

‘Black clouds hanging over’ people with energy debt

As an MP calls for urgent action on growing household energy debt in the UK, find out what to do if you can't keep up with your gas and electricity bills.


22 Apr 2024

Loan shark pensioners ordered to pay £1.2m

As two female pensioners are ordered to pay £1.2m for illegal money lending, find out what to do if you've borrowed from a loan shark.