Loan Shark


DEFINITION of 'Loan Shark'

A person or entity that charges borrowers interest above an established legal rate. Depending on where a person lives, lenders typically cannot charge more than 60% interest per annum. A loan shark, then, would be someone who illegally charged interest over the state's legal limit, which could range up to, or even over, 100%.


For example, a loan shark would lend $10,000 to a person with the provision that they be repaid $20,000 within 30 days.

A big word of caution is that loan sharks will often back their lendings with threats of violence or damage to a person's reputation as a way to ensure the loans are repaid. If you find yourself in a position of owing to a loan shark, make sure you talk to a financial (and maybe a legal) professional to help you get out of the situation.

  1. Payday Loan

    A type of short-term borrowing where an individual borrows a ...
  2. Subprime Loan

    A type of loan that is offered at a rate above prime to individuals ...
  3. Interest

    1. The charge for the privilege of borrowing money, typically ...
  4. Loan

    The act of giving money, property or other material goods to ...
  5. Credit

    1. A contractual agreement in which a borrower receives something ...
  6. Regulation Q

    A Federal Reserve Board regulation that prohibited banks from ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

    From godfathers to perps, familiarize yourself with the "criminal elements" creeping around Wall Street.
  2. Budgeting

    The Gold Standard Revisited

    Think the value of gold is unshakable? Read this chronicle of its rise and fall.
  3. Retirement

    Getting A Loan Without Your Parents

    Use the 5 "W"s to finance your dreams without banking on a second signature.
  4. Professionals

    5 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes

    Facebook might be a great way to show off those cute pics from your vacation -- but your page isn’t so great if it hurts your career.
  5. Credit & Loans

    Explaining Leveraged Loans

    Leveraged loans are loans extended to companies or people who already have large amounts of debt.
  6. Personal Finance

    Tips To Improve Chances Of A Small Business Loan

    Enhance your small business loan eligibility by keeping these important tips in mind.
  7. Active Trading Fundamentals

    How Does Fundera Work and Make Money?

    Learn more about Fundera, the online loan broker service agency, and discover what it offers and how it makes money through its service.
  8. Budgeting

    Best 5 Money-Saving Tips to Get out of Debt

    Understand the different types of debt and the reasons why people get into debt. Learn about five tips to follow to get out of debt.
  9. Economics

    Explaining Silo Mentality

    A silo mentality occurs when certain departments in an organization do not share information or knowledge with other departments.
  10. Economics

    5 Steps of a Bubble

    In the financial sense, a bubble refers to a situation where the price of an asset far exceeds its fundamental value.
  1. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between accrued revenue and accrued interest?

    The difference between accrued revenue and accrued interest is that the former represents accumulated income that has not ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. In what instances does a business use closed end credit?

    The most common types of closed-end credit used by both businesses and individuals are mortgages and auto loans. Businesses ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. When capitalizing interest, will interest accrue while you are in a deferment?

    When capitalizing interest, interest accrues while a person is in a deferment of his loan. In the event of a deferment, the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why is more interest paid over the life of a loan when it is capitalized?

    More interest is paid over the life of a loan when that interest is capitalized because the capitalized interest is added ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the most common instances to use hire purchases in a small business?

    Hire purchases are commonly used to acquire high-dollar business assets, such as technology equipment, transportation fleets ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  2. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  3. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  4. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  5. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  6. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!