Desperate times can lead to desperate measures, and sometimes that means borrowing money from a loan shark. While it may seem like a quick solution, loan sharks are dangerous and can trap you in a cycle of debt. If you’re considering borrowing from one, or are already struggling to repay, read on for what you need to know.

This post will explain what happens if you don’t pay a loan shark in Nigeria, and what steps you can take to protect yourself.

The Dangers of Loan Sharks

Loan sharks are unlicensed lenders who offer quick cash with predatory terms. They often:

  • Charge exorbitant interest rates, far exceeding legal limits.
  • Threaten or harass borrowers who fall behind on payments.
  • Use intimidation tactics to collect debts.
  • Publicly shame borrowers or damage their reputation.
  • Have no clear repayment terms, making it easy for the debt to spiral.

The Risks of Not Paying a Loan Shark

The repercussions of defaulting on a loan shark’s terms can vary, but here are some of the common risks:

  • Harassment and intimidation: Loan sharks may resort to threats, insults, and humiliation to scare you into paying. They might contact your family, friends, or employer to pile on the pressure.
  • Violence: In extreme cases, loan sharks have been known to use violence or threats of violence to collect debts.
  • Exorbitant fees: Loan sharks often add on hidden fees and penalties, making the debt snowball out of control.
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It’s important to remember:

  • You are not legally obligated to repay a loan shark’s debt. Loan sharks operate illegally and have no legal right to enforce their terms.
  • You won’t be arrested or jailed for not paying a loan shark.

Protecting Yourself

If you’ve borrowed from a loan shark, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Stop communicating with the loan shark. Don’t engage in their threats or intimidation.
  2. Report the loan shark to the authorities. You can contact the Nigerian Police Force or the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
  3. Seek help from a debt counselor. They can offer advice and support to manage your debt and protect yourself from further harassment.


  • Is it illegal to borrow from a loan shark?

No, borrowing money is not a crime. However, loan sharks operate outside the law and their lending practices are illegal.

  • Can a loan shark take me to court?

Unlikely. Loan sharks operate outside the legal system and would prefer to avoid legal scrutiny.

  • What if I already paid money to a loan shark?

While you cannot recover the money you’ve already paid, you can still stop further payments and report the loan shark.

  • What should I do if I’m being harassed by a loan shark?

Report the loan shark to the authorities immediately. You can contact the Nigerian Police Force or the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

Remember: There are safe and legal alternatives to loan sharks. Consider registered lenders, microfinance institutions, or family and friends. Don’t put yourself at risk by dealing with loan sharks.

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Many loan apps change their interest rates and repayment terms over time. Always review the terms and conditions carefully before downloading any loan app. B4loan doesn't promote any loan app, we just help you make informed decisions.

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