If you are looking for a loan shark, what does that really mean? Most people probably just mean someone who will lend to just about anyone but has very aggressive loan terms that strongly favor the lender.
Historically, it typically meant someone lending money illegally. Violence and other nasty practices were often used to collect the money because the terms were so painful that the loan shark had to make sure that not paying was even more painful.
In short, when someone says they need a loan shark, they typically mean someone who will lend them money even though they have poor credit. They expect high-interest rates and other aggressive terms as the price for being able to borrow at all.
What Do We Really Mean By Calling Someone A Shark?
There are other areas where the term shark gets used to describe a person engaging in a particular activity, such as a card shark or pool shark. But these terms have a lot more wiggle room as to what someone means.
In fact, there is an alternative term for a card shark. A card shark is also sometimes called a card sharp.
In other words, a card shark can simply be someone who is really smart and talented at what they do. They are sharp.
Cardshark or pool shark doesn’t necessarily mean someone who is trying to cheat you or do anything bad. It can just mean someone really good at what they do who plays aggressively because they know what they are doing. So they are comfortable with seemingly risky situations.
Language evolves as the world around us evolves. These days, when someone says loan shark, they may not really mean what their parents or grandparents would have meant by the same term.
They may not be looking for some shady operation run by organized crime out of the back of a bar. Instead, they may just be looking for payday loan lenders and the like.
So stop and think about what you really want here. Do you really want to get involved in an illegal activity where you are likely going to be the victim?
No, not really. No one actually wants to be victimized.
What you probably mean is “I’m desperate! Who in their right mind would lend money to me? I know, maybe I can find a loan shark! They lend to anyone!”
But that’s a bad idea. You don’t want a literal loan shark. You really want to find someone willing to lend you the money even though you are in a pickle, so a lot of conservative financial organizations aren’t interested in your business.
Maybe you should think of your desire to find a loan shark as simply a desire to find someone comfortable with risk because they know what they are doing. Maybe that’s a healthier and safer way to think about this.
Before you start looking for a Loan Shark – A Word Of Caution
Of course, we still have sketchy lenders doing illegal things. You can find them both online and offline.
There have always been fly-by-night operations that you can’t trust or rely upon. They still exist and you still need to watch out when looking for a loan when you know you have poor credit.
There are websites that are doing shady things, like trying to get personal information from you to sell it for purposes of identity theft. There are predatory lenders who are all too happy to charge very high interest on a secured loan in hopes of getting you to default so they can take possession of your car or house.
So there really are bad players out there. But that isn’t really what you want when you go looking for a loan shark. What you really want is someone who will lend to you and you just think no one will except for a loan shark.
Don’t think that way. That’s a good way to wind up in a real mess. Stop looking for a loan shark. They are always predatory lenders.
How Do Loans Work?
Lending money is a business. It isn’t charity. This is why you think you need a loan shark if you are in a pickle: Because you know that you are a bad risk.
If you have a good credit score, you can get a loan with low-interest rates because they expect you to pay it back. This works because if most people pay you back, you have very few losses to cover.
If everyone – or almost everyone – pays you back on time and in full, then the lender will get their money back. They will also make enough profit from a low-interest rate to stay in business.
But when you start lending money to people with poor credit scores, you can’t count on getting your money back. If a relatively high percentage of people don’t pay you back in full, you need to make a lot more profit from the ones who do pay you back to cover those losses.
This is why loan sharks – and even legitimate lenders who service people with poor credit – charge high-interest rates. They need to cover their losses, yet still, make enough to cover costs and stay in business.
If You Truly Are Desperate
Anyone considering taking out a loan needs to do their due diligence and consider what their alternatives are. If you are on shaky ground financially, you need to take this first step especially seriously.
If you are genuinely in a desperate situation, you should look for free resources to help you out rather than borrowing money. If you simply can’t make ends meet, adding interest payments on top of your other bills only makes things worse.
- Call 211 or check out their website.
- Ask friends or family for help.
- Ask if it is possible to get a cash advance from your employer.
- Call local churches.
Calling 211 or using their website can help you locate resources like food pantries and soup kitchens, assuming there are any in your area. You tend to see such resources in big cities. If you live in a small town or rural area, there may not be anything like that.
If you can get help from friends or family, awesome! But the reality is that if you are barely scraping by, they may be as well. Most poor people don’t have some kindly rich uncle to call when they are in trouble.
In fact, you may not have anyone close to you. Some people are pretty socially isolated.
If you have a regular job, they may have a program for allowing you to get an advance on your salary. But if you are one of the many people scraping by on gig work, this may sound like a laughable suggestion that is simply not part of your reality.
Churches sometimes help out locals. Their programs tend to not be well advertised. You may need to sit through a sermon to get a free meal. Their programs may be reserved for their congregation members only.
If you really need the money and none of the above suggestions have panned out, what now? Is it time to go looking for a loan shark near me?
No. Don’t go looking for a loan shark. They bite!
Easy Credit Options
Instead, you want to find a legitimate lender that is willing to work with people with poor credit. Yes, you will tend to pay higher interest rates, but that doesn’t mean they are doing anything illegal or even predatory.
An awful lot of loans get called “no credit check” loans. In reality, most of them perform a soft credit check instead of a hard credit check.
A hard credit check takes more time and can delay the issuance of funds. It also can negatively impact your credit score.
Soft checks are quicker, let the loan be issued in a timely fashion and don’t ding your credit score. You can read more about soft versus hard inquiries here.
The service we provide is loan matching. You fill out one application and we compare it to products from various lenders we have already vetted.
So we provide you a bit of assurance that these are legitimate lenders. We also save you time and energy because we do the searching for you.
An online service like ours that does loan matching is one means to try to find legitimate loans, even when you have poor credit. It can help you try to avoid accidentally stumbling into an agreement with a genuine loan shark.
Other Alternatives to Get Money
If you have some assets, you may be able to get a loan with no credit check at all. For example, you can take jewelry or similar items to a pawn shop and borrow money based on the value of the item.
In reality, it often makes more sense to simply sell such assets rather than using them as collateral. Pawnshops tend to give you very little for the item in question.
You can also try to raise the money by selling personal possessions generally, such as furniture or other items that no pawn shop would want. Whether you do it via eBay, Craig’s List or a yard sale, selling off personal possessions is a time tested means to raise money quickly.
Of course, it assumes you have some things you can sell. This may not be true.
If you own a car-free and clear, you may be able to get a title loan. In many cases, you will be able to continue to drive the vehicle while making payments on the loan.
Of course, you risk losing your transportation to work. If you can’t get to work, you can lose your job. This can be a path to personal disaster.
Most online loans will be unsecured loans. These are also called personal loans or signature loans.
Some of the benefits of applying online include convenience and privacy. You can do it from the comfort of your own home and this means no one has to know you took out a loan.
If you live in a small town or are going through a divorce, you may not want people to know anything about your personal business. If you have a very busy schedule, you may have trouble getting to a lender during normal business hours.
An online loan application can be filled out at any time of the day or night. You don’t need to go find a payday loan place in some dangerous neighborhood, then walk around with a big wad of cash worrying about your safety.
Get Your Papers Together
If you have gone through all your options and concluded you do want an online loan, you should start gathering your papers together. You will generally need less paperwork to get a “no credit check” loan, but you will still need some.
At a minimum, you will need a photo ID and a recent bank statement. Expect to provide some basic information, such as name, address and phone number.
You will also need to provide them with information on your bank account. If you apply for a loan online, the funds are usually disbursed via direct deposit to your checking account.
On the upside, this means you may have access to the funds the same day in some cases. Direct deposit is one of the fastest ways to get money into your hands from afar.
Start Your Application
If you are ready to start your loan application, you can click here to get started. We will walk you through the application process and then try to match you to a loan product that fits your needs.