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Citizens Advice Dudley and Wolverhampton have become Illegal Money Lending Team Partner!

In today’s world, managing money can feel like walking on a tightrope. Two emerging issues that we are seeing regularly at Citizens Advice Dudley & Wolverhampton, are the increase of negative budgets and the use of illegal money lenders.

Negative Budgets:

This happens when you spend more money than you make. With the cost of living continuing to rise, it’s become more common to have a negative budget. This often leads to a continual cycle of borrowing just to meet household bills.

Illegal Money Lenders:

If you are living with a negative budget, have experienced a change of circumstances or perhaps a household item has broken down, you may think the easiest thing to do is to borrow money to help you during this period. Illegal money lenders (also known as loan sharks) may seem like harmless individuals, they may even be a friend, but if they are lending you money without being registered by the Financial Conduct Authority, there may be a problem.

Safeguarding Your Financial Future:

So, what can you do to protect yourself from falling victim to negative budgets and illegal money lenders?

Budget: The best way to figure out how much money you are spending is to create a budget, listing all of your income and expenses honestly. You can then start to identify the items that may not be essential right now and prioritise saving for emergencies.

Seek Help: If you are unsure where to begin, struggling to manage your debts or maybe just need some advice on how to save money on your energy costs, visit Citizens Advice Dudley & Wolverhampton to book in for an appointment. We can help you track your budget and look at maximising the income you have and reducing any debt’s to a more manageable amount.

Beware of Red Flags: When seeking financial assistance, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. If you are unsure if your lender is registered by the Financial Conduct Authority, you can search their database to check.   If you recognise any of these signs and are looking for support or advice, there are people who can help:

  • Loan sharks often don’t provide any paperwork or receipts and will add huge amounts of interest on what you owe
  • Loan sharks can pose as your friend and draw you in with a loan, no questions asked
  • Loan sharks can become aggressive and threaten you and your family if payments are missed or late
  • Loan sharks can take valuables or personal documents as security

Recognising the dangers that Loan Sharks pose, Citizens Advice Dudley & Wolverhampton have been working closely with the Illegal Money Lending Team to help support borrowers and have been accredited for this work, resulting in a Partner level award. We are thrilled to become an Illegal Money Lending Team Partner and continue to assist in the pursuit of Loan Sharks.

If you think you may be at risk of a Loan Shark, Contact Stop Loan Sharks today to report on 0300 555 2222, visit or talk to us at Citizens Advice Dudley & Wolverhampton on 0808 278 7919, where we can help you report them from the safety of our offices whilst providing you information and advice on how to deal with your debts or budget in a safe way