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.

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  1. Can personal loans be included in bankruptcy?

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  2. Are personal loans tax deductible?

    Interest paid on personal loans is not tax deductible. If you take out a loan to buy a car for personal use or to cover other ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are personal loans bad for your credit score?

    Taking out a personal loan is not bad for your credit score in and of itself. However, there are several factors that come ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Sallie Mae loans, similar to other private loans, cannot be forgiven. As of 2015, there is no option for private student ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Sallie Mae loans can be consolidated with other federal loans, but not with private loans. For federal loan consolidation, ... Read Full Answer >>
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