Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent and impartial advice to the whole of Medway on a range of issues including Housing, Welfare Benefits, Employment, Debt, Family Law and many others.
Citizens Advice Medway has teamed up with the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) once again.
Using proceeds of crime taken from convicted illegal money lenders, the IMLT has issued funding to various organisations to run individual campaigns aimed at helping to raise awareness of the pitfalls of using a Loan Shark and encourage those who already use Loan Sharks to seek help.
The urge to take on debt over the festive season can be tempting, so Citizens Advice Medway is campaigning about the risks of using high-interest loans and illegal money lenders as a quick fix for debt and other financial issues. We want people to know what the risks are with these loan sharks, what alternatives there are for managing their finances, and how they can avoid being exploited.
Our campaign runs until February 2017 as Christmas makes this a vital period to offer help to those under financial stress that may decide to seek out a Loan Shark.
As part of the campaign we'll be:
We are liaising with the IMLT not only to assist those who want to escape the threats and intimidation that can come from a Loan Shark, but to also help identify Loan Sharks and prevent them from continuing their illegal activities. Anyone who is under financial hardship - during or after their interactions with a Loan Shark - can be assisted by our Money Advice workers.
Taking out another credit card or high-interest loan may seem an easy way to cover the costs. If things look bad you may even be considering illegal borrowing from loan sharks. Our research has shown that a £1,000 loan with one high street lender will end up costing an astonishing £1,807.56 if repaid over 12 months.
If you come into our office or give us a call on 01634 383 760, we can advise you on managing your debts, getting financial advice, and staying out of the clutches of scammers and illegal lenders. We will also be announcing a range of public events and self-help material throughout Medway in the coming weeks.
Citizens Advice Medway CEO Dan McDonald said:
“We know that a lot of our clients are suffering from financial hardship, and that this only worsens over the festive season. We also know that illegal and unscrupulous lenders are ready to pounce on anyone struggling to make ends meet, charging them outrageous rates of interest for short term loans.
We know that the best way to tackle this problem is by taking action to get your situation under control in the long run, rather than gambling on an overnight fix”.