Are you in desperate need of money? Would you do anything to get your hands on some quick cash? Well then, send over a nude selfie holding a valid ID card and the money is yours. Would you do it?
This is exactly what’s happening to many cash-strapped Chinese college students right now. Called “Luo Tiao” in Chinese (“naked loan”), these quick online loans are popular with female college students who need the money for a number of reasons, including to pay their tuition. These loans typically carry insanely high interest rates (to the tune of 30% per WEEK as reported by the Chinese newspaper Nandu Daily – link in Chinese), and loan sharks threaten to release the nude selfie to the parents and even the general public if the student is unable to pay back the loan on time. Oy vey!
Apparently, naked IOUs have been around for a long time and many people borrow money with nude pictures as collateral. An insider told People’s Daily Online:
“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.”
However, a reporter recently outed these sleazy loan sharks after posing as a potential borrower to gather evidence of them demanding nude photos via a group chat popular amongst lenders. What’s scary is that the reporter also found these loan sharks demanded personal info from borrowers like home addresses, family names, and even contact information of friends.
When news broke online of the existence of these “naked loans,” many netizens have criticized the students as being “stupid” and “brainless” to have accepted such loan terms. Others point out that the exorbitantly high interest rates as well as the practice of requiring nude selfies as collateral are both illegal. Yet others say that the real issue here is the lack of funding options for Chinese college students who need money for tuition and living costs.
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