December is often an expensive time of year with Christmas presents to buy, extended family to cater for and increased heating and electricity costs because of the colder weather. 

If you find yourself short this season and need to borrow money to tide you over don’t be tempted to borrow money from a loan shark. A loan shark is someone who lends money illegally without the correct authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

Borrowing from a loan shark could result in you paying back significantly more with extortionate interest rates.

Often no paperwork is given so you don’t know how much you owe, how much interest is charged or how much you’ve already paid. 

We are working with the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to raise awareness of loan sharks in the lead up to Christmas.

If you find yourself owing money to a loan shark, you can call the IMLT on 0300 555 222 and speak to a member of the team anonymously and in confidence.  For more information on loan sharks including how to report one visit the Money Advice Service website.