With apps providing instant personal loans without proof of repayment capacity, borrow money through the app can end up paying sky-high interest rates with loans that seem too good to be true.
Most loans are approved within minutes of applying through apps such as Cashwagon and Doctor Dong. Obtaining a loan requires only a borrower’s name, national ID number, and bank account details.
With an instant online loan app called VDong, Binh took out a loan of VND1.26 million ($78) only two weeks ago. Binh owes VND2.34 million ($100) only two weeks after taking out the loan.
A District 12 resident named Doctor Dong received a loan of about VND2 million ($86) from the Doctor Dong app just less than two months before having to repay the full amount of more than 3 million VND ($167).
According to Dong, those who fail to repay their debts on time will be killed by debt collectors.
They also ask their friends and relatives for their phone numbers to find out who they are, in addition to accessing their contact lists on their phones.
Frequently, friends and relatives received threatening messages even when they were unaware of the loan.
Tien said he sent me text messages and used vulgar language to threaten me with recruitment by gangsters. I feared for my life.
For example, Cash wagon provides cash to users who claim they have made a mistake and don’t want to take out loans.
When O. received a ‘loan’ of VND2.5 million ($108) from Cashwagon, he learned the hard truth.
I discovered that I still had to pay interest incurred from the original loan after transferring the money back to them per their instruction, she said.
In Vietnam, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is also popular, as those with idle cash can lend their funds to those in need using an online application from a third party.
Tima. Since it launched in June 2016, vn has facilitated over VND64 trillion ($2.76 billion) in loans.
Each day, the platform receives around 6,000 loan requests.
According to Vietnamese lawyer Truong Thanh Duc, Vietnam’s instant personal loan apps and P2P lending platforms are largely sourced from China.
These companies are frequently registered as investment consultancies or commercial services companies to disguise their actual lending activity.
It targets customers who need quick cash and high-interest rates on short-term loans, Duc said.
Lenders could lose money in a peer-to-peer model because the platform acts as a third-party intermediator and may not be legally responsible for the loans they offer.
Vietnamese competition authorities have warned the public to be cautious when using these online instant loan apps and be aware of their interest rates and terms and conditions.
“Before providing personal information to these apps, loan applicants should thoroughly understand their data collection policy,” VCA advises.
Vietnamese consumers are suing dodgy lenders via Facebook groups.
Vietnam is at the cusp of a significant financial transformation. New lending systems and a culture of borrow money through the app.
Numerous smartphone apps provide access to digital lending services. In the “fast and easy” credit experience, they provide unsecured loans within minutes through banks and consumer lending firms, peer-to-peer platforms, moneylending outfits, and moneylending gangs.
Despite their benefits to financial inclusion and the effort by government and financial institutions to liberalize credit, digital lending apps are also causing public concern over the rise of a predatory and reckless subprime lending industry.
Borrowers have increasingly encountered exploitation and harsh collection methods, leading them to share their frustration on social media. Many groups on Facebook have been started by harassed and disgruntled borrowers, especially by young Vietnamese professionals, who share their grievances, provide mutual support and share tips on dealing with digital lenders.
Some newcomers hesitate to open an account with a bank or p2p platform because lending requirements may be strict for financial firms and virtual lenders but minimal for illegitimate lenders.
In their experience, experienced borrow money through the app offer advice to newcomers on how to deal with debt collectors’ harassment and cyberbullying tactics, advising them to delete their social media and phone data to minimize their online presence. Another group offers tips on how to disclose or omit personal data in a way that reassures lenders without compromising borrowers’ digital privacy.
In addition to these apps, members also recommend Doctor **ng, Tamo, VDong and Cash24, which have limited means of punishing late borrowers. One user complains that these lenders don’t pay attention to their customers’ debts and won’t visit their homes to collect them. All of their employees are pretending to be gangsters.