Beware of loan sharks

Have you borrowed money from a loan shark? Are you struggling with repayments?

We understand that illegal money lenders have been targeting families in parts of Brunswick. If you’re a resident and have been affected – or if you’re having problems with a loan shark – we want to help you.

What is a loan shark?

A loan shark is an illegal money lender who charges extremely high rates of interest. Although they may appear friendly at first, loan sharks are dangerous and borrowing from them comes with a number of high risks:

  • You pay a much higher level of interest on your loan compared to legal money lenders
  • They may use threatening and intimidating behaviour if you get behind on re-payments
  • You are often pressurised into borrowing more money to pay off debts
  • There is often little, or no paperwork involved and a loan shark may take personal items such as your passport or bankcards by way of ‘security’.

How to report a loan shark

If you, or someone you know, has been approached by a loan shark, you can report this by emailing the Illegal Money Lending Team at

Or, you can report this anonymously and confidentially, by handing in a note (or send an email) to the S4B housing office giving details of the loan shark, and a member of the team will report it for you. You do not need to give your personal details.

Safe borrowing

If you have any money worries or are struggling with debts, S4B Manchester’s Financial Inclusion Team can help you. Please email  or tel 0300 555 0128. You can also visit the S4B housing office, 15 Brunswick Street, M13 9SU.

If you’re in need of a loan, there are safe, reputable companies you can turn to.

One option is your local Credit Union – a not-for-profit organisation, owned and democratically controlled by their members. They offer a range of financial services, including loans and savings accounts, and are a safe way to borrow money.