American students are drowning in debt.
As of this year, 44 million American students owe more than $1.3 trillion in student loans. And with excessively high interest rates adding on to their loans each year, students are only digging their debt holes deeper.
If they dig deep enough, they might even end up in China. At least there, they’d find a new solution for debt collateral: nudie pics.
Chinese internet lenders are now offering naked loans to female students, where women can post nude pictures of themselves to guarantee repayment on their loans. The loan-for-porn scheme allows students to upload a photo of themselves naked (and holding a government-issued ID card) to online lending platforms for tens of thousands of yuan in undergraduate credit. According to Beijing Youth Daily, girls who upload nude pictures are eligible for higher loans—two to five times the normal amount. The lenders then threaten borrowers that they'll publish the nude photos online if the loans and their extreme interest rates aren't repaid in time.
One female student told the Beijing Youth Daily that she agreed to send nude photos to private lenders in exchange for 120,000 yuan, or about $18,000, to start a small business. Within four months, the debt she owed had more than doubled. After her lenders threatened to publish her photos online, she was forced to ask her family for money to avoid the shameful scandal.
Because China has no institution that oversees online lending, loan sharks are free to blackmail their female borrowers without restriction. Fu Jian, a loan lawyer in Zhengzhou, told the Washington Post that the use of nude photos as collateral is not illegal unless the photos are published.
So although student debt in the US seems to be spiraling out of control, things could be worse. Yes, the average American class of 2016 graduate owes over $37,000 in debt. But the naked truth is that financial debt pales in comparison to a lifetime of Google search results returning your 18-year old tit pics. Consider yourself lucky, Americans.