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The growing problem of loan sharks in Ireland

Around times when money is scarce, such as Christmas, this issue is known to really hit home. A recent survey by the Credit Unions of Ireland showed that 50% of people got into debt around the festive period. This can and has driven people into the hands of loan sharks. A growing number of Irish people are turning to these loan sharks to try to remedy their short term financial issues.

Anecdotally people have told of interest rates far in excess of what financial institutions are offering, with rates of nearly 100% per week for outstanding amounts. This in comparison to what is the legal maximum allowed rate, 40% per annum, is a staggering difference. But it is the reality that many people who feel like they have no options are forcing themselves into.

This should highlight the issue that loan sharks in Ireland are illegal and the interest rates they offer are far from attractive. But there are  people who feel like they have no option other than to turn to these illegal lenders. This is where MABs has come to the rescue for many people.

MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service is a nationwide, free and confidential service offering financial advice for those who feel that they have no options. MABs has the ability to talk to lending institutions on behalf of people who find themselves behind with loans and in many instances can negotiate revised payment plans that borrowers find much more manageable.

The MABs hotline is 1890 283 438, open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

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