Loan shark(redirected from Loan sharks)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Someone who issues loans with interest rates above the maximum legal level, often thought to come with threats from the lessor. Loan sharks typically are associated with organized crime, but this is becoming more rare with the emergence of regulated methods that accompany high-risk loans such as subprime and payday lender. See: Usury
A person who makes illegal loans, usually by charging an extraordinarily high interest rate. For example, a loan shark may lend $1,000 at a 2,000% annualized interest rate, which is illegal in most states. Loan sharks are not financial institutions; they often "collateralize" their loans with threats of violence. Loan sharking often is associated with organized crime. See also: Usury.