Christmas is an expensive time of year and no one wants to be left out of the fun so some people end up taking    out loans to fund their festivities – loans which some people can’t afford to pay back, according debt advice  service, Money Mentors.


Julie Blairs, financial inclusion team leader for the  Manchester City Council-funded service, advises caution about taking out short-term loans at high interest rates with recognised lenders.


And she has warned local people to steer clear completely of dealing with so-called  ‘loan sharks’ – that is unauthorised and unregulated lenders who have a reputation for turning nasty if repayments are missed.  Manchester is one of Britain’s biggest hotspots for loan shark activity, according to Julie Blairs.


If you have a problem with debt, want advice about how to borrow safely, or any other money-related advice, you can go along, without an appointment, to speak to a member of the Money Mentors team at Benchill Community Centre between 1pm and 4pm every Tuesday.


You can phone Money Mentors on 0161 223 1155 or email them at


To report ‘loan shark’ activity in confidence and anonymously, if you wish, you can phone the illegal money lending team on 0300 555 2222

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