Maria had several small loans over a number of years and it was never a problem to repay until she got sick. Then her problems with managing the debt started. Here is her story:
“I came to the UK from the Philippines over five years ago. I worked in the local hospital as an axillary nurse as my qualifications weren’t recognised in the UK. I’d left my husband and children back in the Philippines and I was working to send money back to them.
“I needed £2,000 for a medical bill for my family and needed the money quickly. I did ask my friends and colleagues for help but no one had the kind of money I needed. They did tell me about a Philippine woman who lent money.
“I called her and she would lend me the money but I would have to pay £30 interest on every £100 I borrowed. If I was late after that there would be a charge. The first time wasn’t a problem.
“In fact I borrowed several times until I took out a big loan for a deposit for a flat to bring my family over. And it was fine, until I got sick. I was out of work for a few months and only on statutory sick pay.
“I just couldn’t afford to pay the debt. I was borrowing from high interest loan providers and from this lender to try and keep everyone happy. But I missed payments.
“She just wouldn’t leave me alone and I couldn’t tell my husband but had to hide the texts that would arrive at all hours.
“My husband had no idea. But I got really desperate. I had to speak to my employer who put me in touch with Stop Loan Sharks and that’s when it changed.”
Stop Loan Sharks were contacted by Maria’s employer as they realised that it might not be legal cash lending taking place. We investigated the lender and arrested her. She was the one breaking the law, not Maria.
We can help. If you are borrowing cash without paperwork you might be lending from a loan shark. Call us on 0300 555 2222 or complete our online form to safely and anonymously report a loan shark.