Loan Shark Story
Loan Shark Victim Speaks Out: “I never thought of myself as a victim”
A father-of-four from Leicestershire speaks out about his terrifying experience of being in the grip of a loan shark.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, borrowed money from a loan shark after falling behind with council tax arrears.
The victim borrowed £5,000 in three separate loans from a man who he considered to be a “friend”. The loan shark was charging the victim £50 interest every month on top of the £100 he was already paying. When the victim was unable to pay the loan shark, he said his interest payments would increase to £80 per month.
The Leicestershire man said: “I never thought of myself as a victim and I’d never even heard of the expression ‘loan sharks’ before.
“Back in 2008, I was having problems with council tax arrears. I went in to my local supermarket and got talking to one of the shop workers. I considered him a friend.
“I told him about the situation I was in and he said that he could organise a loan. It was a relief for me as I was starting to get worried about the bailiffs showing up at my home.”
For every loan the victim had, he was expected to hand over items of gold jewellery as security to the loan shark. Unfortunately, when the victim failed to keep up with the repayments on a loan for £3,000, he lost several thousand pounds worth of his jewellery.
Two years later, the victim fell in to rent arrears again and went back to the loan shark to borrow another £1,000 and ended up paying back £1,800. Then again in 2013, the victim borrowed another £1,500 from the loan shark to pay off outstanding debts.
While he was still paying the 2013 loan off, the loan shark was arrested by the IMLT. The victim received a call from an Investigator after they had found his details in the loan shark’s phone.
He said: “It was a sense of relief when the authorities got in touch. I found out that the man had been doing the same thing to someone else. I’d advise people now to go to legal lenders to borrow money such as a credit union.”
See https://health.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/loansharks for more information.