Most online lenders offering student loans in China are capitalizing on the high cost of education, and the poor economic conditions faced by many undergraduates, to exploit their helplessness. A report from China Daily confirms many young people have had to offer their nude pictures as IOU also referred to as “a collateral”, in order to get loan requests approved.
The unavailability of sponsors and lack of education support programs from banks, have seen online lending platforms rise in numbers around most cities in China.
However, it’s worthy of note that most of these online lenders do not require the physical presence of borrowers, which implies also, that the booming business owners are untouchable.
According to the report, every student who requires financial assistance most be willing to take the risk of putting their nude photos in the hands of some unknown financiers who will not only have a chance to store the X-rated pics forever, but can use it as a threat in case of defaults.
Also, there’s no guarantee, whatsoever, that the porn pictures used as a collateral will not fall into wrong hands who may use same to blackmail unsuspecting undergraduates many years after the transaction had been completed.
Ever since the news surfaced online, most citizens have bemoaned this inhumane treatment meted out to students who are potential leaders of tomorrow. This is the height of callousness.
Most Chinese students who have received financial help–made necessary by poverty–from these online lenders, are ashamed of what they’ve done and will never disclose the humiliating risk to their family or friends.
The report confirms, this risky method of IOU by lenders in China uses Tencent QQ [a popular online chat app like WeChat or Whatsapp] “but it is usually more often accepted within the QQ group chats connected to such platforms”.
A student’s membership in the group chat serves as the first procedure, making it impossible for one who’s not an undergraduate at a particular middle school, high school, or university to join. Your friends must be able to confirm your ID before you’re found suitable to receive loans.
“Borrowers are also required to upload pictures of their ID cards and report their family information, including their address and cell phone numbers.”
“Once a clear photo of a naked borrower holding his or her ID card is uploaded to lenders, he or she can get up to 15,000 yuan ($2,277) credit with a maximum of 36 month installments,” the Nandu Daily reported.
“The credit to be granted varies based on the borrower’s education background.
“Usually an undergraduate student can receive 15,000 yuan in credit, while those studying at famous universities as well as doctorate students can receive even larger loans” according to People [a Chinese website].
Though the funds seem too easy to secure–just by using nude pictures, one might think–reports say an overdue payments comes with regrettable consequences.
According to former borrower who goes by the nickname Li Li, “the weekly interest rate was 30 percent for her 500 yuan borrowed from an online platform in February”.
“As she kept failing to pay back on set payment due dates, she borrowed more money from the platform with the same weekly interest rate until the overdue payment grew to 55,000 yuan [nearly $10,000], which then led to a threat with her naked pictures,” the Nandu Daily reported.
Li wasn’t the only unfortunate student to have fallen prey to these financial monsters. She told the newspaper that “many of her fellow students have borrowed money in this way, but most were too ashamed to talk”.
Some Snapshots of this easy-transaction gone bad have surfaced online recently. A photo of a female borrower and a message reading how the lender would send the photo and her naked video footage to her family members if she could not pay back her 10,000 yuan, serves as an evidence.
The report says this exploited female student borrowed on an annual interest rate of 24 percent within a week.
“Naked IOUs started long ago. Not only university students but many others also borrowed money with nude pictures,” an insider with the name Zhang, told Nandu Daily.
Another Chengdu-based insider said naked pictures are often acceptable as IOUs in underground private loans companies and borrowers.
These lenders are usually unregistered and ineligible companies with a good financial base. So it’s easier and faster to get tens of thousands in cash from such underground sources.
Having received wide condemnation for the evil practices, several online lending platforms that secretly offer naked IOUs have recently issued notices on their QQ group chats that they will no longer accept nude pictures as IOU, Nandu Daily reported.