A young student’s naked photos have been uploaded several times on Chinese social media for failing to pay loans she made online.
The student, identified as Xiao Yu, has reportedly borrowed from 59 lenders, owing more than 500,000 yuan (around $73,000) in total, reported Youth.cn via South China Morning Post.
Apparently, it has become a common practice for some loan sharks in China to demand naked pictures from borrowers as a form of insurance to ensure loans are paid. If the debt is not paid, the photos are then used to blackmail and intimidate not only the borrower but the whole family.
Yu’s family ended up selling their home just to pay off the loans she incurred while in college in eastern China.
According to her father, Yu began borrowing online during her first year at Hefei in Anhui province with an initial loan of about 2,000 yuan ($290). Her debts further increased from then on. The weekly interest rate on the money she owed reached as much as 30%.
Debt collectors would employ several tactics of harassment to get her to pay, from regularly calling her parents and friends about her loans, posting her personal information on the school’s online bulletin and circulating false stories about her to her classmates.
“I would receive at least 30 phone calls a day from debt collectors. Some are extremely tough and hard to talk to,” her father was quoted as saying.
Yu’s dad, who earns 4,000 yuan a month as a driver, stated that selling their home was the only way to pay off his daughter’s huge loans. It was not revealed where the family lived or will be living.
In the past, loan sharks have even gone as far as to force female debtors into prostitution to pay off their debts or have their nude photos released to the public.