A moneylender is a person or group who offers small personal loans at high rates of interest. The high interest rates charged by them is justified in many cases by the risk involved. They play an active role in lending in places with less access to banking activities or in situations where borrowers do not have good credit history. In India licensed money lenders are governed by Money Lenders Acts of respective states.
See also 
- Microfinance - provision of financial services to low-income individuals.