Guide Financial Support and Advice

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4. Loan Sharks and Illegal Money Lending

Picture of Great British Pound currency - Photo by Alaur Rahman

Information about loan sharks, illegal money lending and how to find out if a money lender is authorised.

What is a Loan Shark?

Find out about illegal lending and what to do if you have borrowed from a loan shark.

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Find out about loan sharks from Stop Loan Sharks

Stop Loan Sharks

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders and provides support for borrowers in the UK whilst also offering help and advice for people who have borrowed money from an illegal money lender.

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Report a loan shark to Stop Loan Sharks

Checking a lender is authorised

You can find out whether a money lender is authorised by checking the register on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.

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Check a lender on the FCA register

What to do if you owe money to a Loan Shark

In England, if you think a money lender is operating without being FCA authorised, you can speak in confidence to the Illegal Money Lending Hotline on 0300 555 2222.

You can also email the Illegal Money Lending Team at or text loan shark and your message to 60003.

If you're threatened by someone who lends you money

If someone who has lent you money threatened you or is violent, contact the police straight away.

Do this even if it's an informal loan from someone you know, such as a friend of family member.