‘Don’t get bitten by a loan shark’ is the simple message from Karbon Homes.

With summer coming to a close and Christmas not too far away now, it may be tempting to borrow from an illegal money lender.

Growing landlord Karbon Homes has teamed up with England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to raise awareness of loan sharks and signpost victims to the appropriate help and support available.

 Two advice sessions have been organised by Karbon on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st September at Pelton Community Centre in Chester-le-Street for residents to speak to someone in confidence about their money worries. The local credit union will also be available to give residents advice and tips around savings and the option to open up a savings account. To help promote savings, the first 50 people to sign up for an account, and save for 10 out of 12 weeks, will have an additional £25 added to their savings account – a great boost in advance of Christmas.

The events are part of an on-going campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of borrowing money from illegal money lenders.

 Suzanne Jobson, Financial Inclusion Manager at Karbon Homes, said: “With Christmas only a few months away, now is the time when loan sharks prey on the vulnerable and pressure them into borrowing money to pay for presents and gifts.

We want to re-assure residents that there are alternatives to borrowing money from a loan shark who can trap borrowers into a spiral of debt, often resorting to extreme methods of intimidation, threats and violence to enforce repayment.

“We will have a team of experienced experts on hand to speak to residents in confidence about their money situation and also encourage them to budget and save money.” 

Residents can drop in on the day and no appointment is necessary. Advice will be available on Wednesday 20th September between 9.30am and 12pm and on Thursday 21st September between 1pm and 3.30pm.

Alternatively, if you are a victim of illegal money lending or need to speak to somebody about advice and support around debt and borrowing money, please contact Karbon Homes on freephone 0800 587 0001 or text 07919 044 314.

To report a loan shark, please contact the England Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence on their 24-hr confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 or via their website www.stoploansharks.co.uk.  Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.