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Advice for anyone who has borrowed from a loan shark

If you have borrowed from an unlicensed lender or 'loan shark' you have not broken the law, they have. Here are some sources of advice:

  • 24/7 confidential advice - 0300 555 2222
  • Text ‘loan shark and your message’ to 60003
  • Email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk
  • Send a Facebook message to www.facebook.com/stoploansharks

What are loan sharks and how do they operate?

Unlicensed lenders - often called 'loan sharks' - operate illegal money lending businesses without a licence from the Office of Fair Trading. Here are some clues for identifying them:

  • Rarely offers paperwork to keep borrowers unsure of how much they owe
  • Charge extortionate rates of interest (rates of 131,000% APR have been seen)
  • Add additional amounts to the debt so borrowers struggle to repay
  • Take items such as passports of bank cards as security
  • Employ extreme methods to reclaim their debts, including violence and intimidation

Source: England Illegal Money Lending Team

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President Obama: America is 'not a deadbeat nation'

President Barack Obama has he would be willing to take over authority for raising the borrowing limit, saying the the US is "not a deadbeat nation".

Obama was asked at a news conference about differences he is having with congressional Republicans over raising the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling that the country is expected to hit as soon as the middle of next month.

"This is about paying your bills," he said. "We've got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis."

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Public sector debt passes the trillion mark

In October Government spending continued to outstrip the amount of money it received in tax:

  • Total tax receipts were 1.8% higher at £47.5 billion, but total expenditure rose 7.4% to £52.8 billion
  • Tax revenues were dragged down by a drop in corporation tax, which fell 9.5% to £8.1 billion
  • Spending on social benefits, such as state pensions, jumped 7.7% to £16 billion
  • Public sector net debt now stands at £1.1 trillion

Government borrowing rises to £8.6 billion

Government borrowing rose by £2.7 billion to £8.6 billion in October. Today's figures from the Office for National Statistics are the last set before the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

They are crucial in indicating whether or not George Osborne will need to introduce further austerity measures to bring down Britain's debt and stick to the target.

The government will study today's figures closely ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn statement Credit: Press Association
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