People are being warned to avoid the temptation of borrowing money from illegal moneylenders in the run-up to Christmas.
A recent report by the Trading Standards illegal money-lending team indicates that many people turn to loan sharks to pay for the expense of the Christmas season.
Illegal lenders often prey on vulnerable and marginalised people within communities, targeting individuals who would have difficulty in securing mainstream credit.
Tony Quigley Head of the Trading Standards North West illegal money lending team said: “Illegal lenders are a scourge on our communities, leaving people living in fear and misery. They prey on vulnerable people charging often exorbitant rates of interest and resorting to extreme methods to enforce their debts.
“At Christmas in particular we would like to make clear that illegal lenders are not a community service and should never be used, not even as a last resort.
“If you have borrowed from an illegal lender or know someone who has, we would urge you to speak to us in confidence. You have not committed any crime if you have borrowed from a loan shark. Our hotline is open across the festive season, answered by trained investigators on 0300 555 2222.”
While organisations like Trading Standards are vital in protecting vulnerable individuals from illegal lenders, there are still people who fall through the cracks, and that’s where Recycling Lives can help.
At Recycling Lives, we offer life-changing opportunities to members of society facing an uncertain future. Our ethos is to support, inspire and employ people who might have lost everything but are ready to get back on their feet.
Individuals who have fallen by the wayside after suffering debt problems, perhaps becoming trapped in the cycle of homelessness, worklessness and welfare dependency, can benefit from our residential programme. We provide our Residents with accommodation, training and work, giving them a chance to get back into a routine and work themselves back into an independent life.
Once our Residents are back on their feet, we help them to find full-time work – either with Recycling Lives or with one of our Corporate Partners – and a home that they can call their own.
While we can’t single-handedly tackle all the problems that stem from long-term debt, we’re committed to helping as many people as we can.