With rapid growth of technology, one would think securing loans must be easy now.
Just fill a form online/offline and little formalities here and there? No.
In a rather strange development, few loan companies in China are resorting to appalling methods to give loans to youngsters.
They have been offering 'naked loan services', in which loans/funds can be acquired by providing nude selfies as collateral.
Youths using nudes to secure loans in China
Companies threaten to leak photos if loans not paid
According to reports, few loan companies and e-commerce websites, which are aware that youngsters are in need of quick funds, demand nude selfies as collateral from their clients.
What's scarier is that if the loans aren't paid on time, the companies blackmail them by threatening to leak the photographs online, and many are reportedly asked to pay off their loans in return for sex.
Nudes of 161 women, aged 19-23, leaked in 2016
The threat to leak their photos online isn't an empty one. In 2016, 10GB of nudes from 161 young women, holding their photo IDs, were leaked online by microlenders. Most of them were aged from 19-23 and had borrowed an amount between $1,000 and $2,000.
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Companies imposed hefty interests forcing borrowers to send more nudes
The companies also charged hefty interests on loans, which eventually forced the borrowers to send more nudes.
This problem became so rampant that China's financial regulators, last year, promised to crack down on 'unlicensed microlenders'.
Since then, they have introduced rules, which forbid unlicensed organizations and individuals from conducting a lending business, or giving loans to borrowers who have no source of income.
Government has also come down heavily on unlicensed microlenders
A multi-ministry group, tasked by Central Government, was also formed for the same.
"Amid the rapid development of cash loans-while they have played a role in meeting the normal credit needs of some groups-problems like over-lending, repeat borrowing, improper collection, abnormally high interest rates, and privacy violations have become prominent," they said.
The loan-services gave youngsters chance to have a decent living
Sadly, local reports suggest the problem is still prevalent deeply on social media.
China, where the cost of living is high and chances to secure a credit card is quite low, the 'naked loan services' have opened up big opportunities for young adults.
However, it's astounding to see how easily the youngsters gave in and are now caught in its dark side.