But consumer watchdogs have blasted companies such as Amigo Loans and BrightHouse for the ‘unethical’ practice.
Lenders are offering customers cash to lure friends and family onto their books.
High-interest firms such as Amigo Loans and BrightHouse have been blasted over the practice.
Consumer watchdogs say the incentives are “cynical”.
Amigo customers can earn up to £1,000 if they get a friend to take out a £10,000 loan at an annual interest rate of 49.9 per cent.
Rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse, with rates up to 99.9 per cent, offers £220 to introduce a pal.
Doorstep lender Provident will pay clients £30 if a friend borrows £100 or more at 535 per cent, while Loans At Home hands over £20 at 433 per cent.
Recent Bank of England figures show households have unsecured debts of £204billion.
Marc Gander of Consumer Action Group said the schemes were “bound to attract people”.
Martyn James, of complaints site , added: “We’ve serious concerns about the ethics.”