LOAN sharks are targeting vulnerable families throughout Inishowen, the ‘Journal’ has learned.

Families are being visited by money lenders who are demanding an extraordinary 30% interest on every 100 euro borrowed, a figure which is set to rise a further 30% should the borrower fail to keep up with the repayments.

It is believed they visit homes across the peninsula every Friday to collect their illegitimate funds.

The ‘Journal’ has, this week, confirmed that one mother in Moville received threats from the loan sharks when she failed to keep up with one payment.

In a plea to her neighbours another Inishowen woman told the ‘Journal’ she was warning people not to use the lenders but instead to look to alternative sources such as the Credit Union, who, she says, are always willing to help people in need, not threaten them.

A spokesperson for Foyle Credit Union, who has offices in Moville and Muff said they are aware of people throughout the peninsula who have borrowed money through loan sharks.

They said: “Contrary to what some people think Foyle Credit Union is happy to provide new and top-up loans to members who have shown that they can both save and borrow wisely. Despite enormous change to new and increased regulatory considerations, Foyle Credit Union remains a vital and accessible source for loans locally. The Board of Directors continues to make wise and responsible decisions on behalf of it’s members.

“Money lenders is not the way to go; staff at the Credit Union are always on hand to help people and to listen to their worries.

The Moville Credit Union spokesperson said he believe they maintain one of the safest ways of saving and borrowing to this day.

“With assets of over €10million euro Foyle Credit Union is a huge asset to the greater Muff, Moville and Greencastle area in the last 20 years, owned by members and run by a local Board of Directors, it remains a safe place to save as all shares are guaranteed under the Government’s Deposit Guarantee Scheme,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson urged all members to attend the Annual General Meeting next Tuesday night, 24th January in Caiseal Mara Hotel and to approach the Directors to ask any questions as to the future of Foyle Credit Union.