Loan Smart is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1176832) that has been founded with the aim of raising awareness of the scourge of illegal money lending and to provide some practical information for borrowers. The charity’s primary purpose will be to encourage those who are thinking about borrowing money to first check to ensure that they are borrowing from a fully authorised lender.
Loan Smart has commissioned the building of a free-to-use online website for consumers with the objective of helping to reduce the risk that they might end up borrowing money from an illegal money lender.
The Loan Smart website (www.loansmart.org.uk) uses the Financial Services Register data provided by the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’). Our objective is to enable consumers to confirm easily who is fully authorised to provide credit in clear, down-to-earth language. Using a simple to use search engine on the site, consumers are able to confirm if their chosen lender is indeed fully authorised. If they draw a blank, consumers are advised to check their details with the FCA. If they suspect a lender may be a loan shark, the site provides the visitor with some options: what to do next and how to report them; what to do if they’re in trouble; who they can talk to if they need additional support; and where to get additional advice relating to debt if they need it.
As well as continuing to raise awareness about Loan Smart, the charity is focused on encouraging consumers to always ensure a lender is properly authorised by the FCA and that it has the correct permissions for its credit activities. Loan Smart will also continue to fund the development, launch and ongoing management and promotion of its website: www.loansmart.org.uk.
Loan Smart is a non-profit organisation and relies on donations from the corporate sector and individuals to fund its activities.