Wuhan University has recently developed a phone application aimed at preventing online loan schemes from preying on college students, according to news portal cjn.cn.
Online campus loans are private loans targeting college students, usually coming with high interest rates and often with collateral security requirements, which in some cases have included naked photographs of female students. Many young people are attracted to these loans due to a lack of basic financial literacy to see potential risks behind what appears to be easy money.
Central authorities banned online companies from extending loans to students in 2017. The application is the first of its kind to work as a check on the illegal campus loan industry and protect students from loan sharks.
The application features a large database with financial service information from credit agencies across the country. College students can register fast with their real name, ID number and phone number.
With big data, the application can observe if a student has plunged into debt and analyze how deeply they've been entrapped, then produce a credit score and an assessment for the student. A higher score usually represents a better credit situation. On the contrary, a lower score means multiple balances with a large sum of debt.
The assessment will remind users of risks or problems related to credit, like showing the email addresses a student used for online loan registration, or numbers of those on the student's contact list that have been blacklisted or have bad credit.
The application will also give a warning to students when they're applying for an online loan, and provide a risk assessment to students, parents and colleges.
By entering their children's name, ID number and phone number, parents can also use the application to check if their children are turning to internet finance platforms to get loans.
At present, the application is in the beta-testing stage and is expected to go live in May.