How to Spot a Loan Shark

Great White Shark

There’s something in the water…and outside your door. Loan sharks, who are often known to prey on low income families in desperate situations, may seem friendly at first, but doing business with them will ultimately cost you an arm and a leg.

A loan shark can be defined as an unauthorized person or entity who offers loans at an extremely high interest rate. Loan sharks can be dangerous and are known to enforce payment with harassment, threats of violence and blackmail.

How to spot a loan shark:

A loan shark may…

  • Use unethical verbiage: “Get a $5000 loan fast!”, “No collateral required”, “No credit check”
  • Offer you a cash loan with little to no paperwork
  • Keep no record of payments you have made
  • Increase your debt or add additional payments without your knowledge or permission
  • Refuse to indulge how much interest you are paying or how much you owe
  • Prohibit you from settling your debt
  • Threaten, harass, or blackmail you into payment

Doing business with loan sharks should be avoided at all costs, however, if you or someone you know is being victimized by one, file a report to the police, FBI or U.S. Attorney’s Office immediately. Most people turn to loan sharks when they feel they are out of options, but those in serious financial trouble should really get the help and advice they need from professionals they can trust.

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