60% students apply for online loans, mostly for shopping: survey

Updated: 2016-02-01 14:18


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Over 60 percent of Chinese university students borrow money from online financial services, and most of it is spent on shopping, China Youth Daily reported.

The survey by China University Media Union (CUMU) finds that 40.7 percent of those polled borrow less than 1,000 yuan ($150), 40.12 percent borrow 1,000-2,000 yuan, and 5.23 percent borrow more than 5,000 yuan.

Among the borrowers, over 54 percent pay back 100 to 300 yuan per month. Part-time jobs, early use of the next month's budget and frugality are identified as the major sources of income.

There are about 100 providers of student loans in many forms, including installment buying, peer-to-peer (P2P) online platforms, and financial arms of e-commerce giants like Alibaba and JD.com. Some promise to issue loans in five seconds with a simple procedure, and some offer loans with interest rate discounts, according to the report.

The survey shows that 84.86 percent of students are reluctant to provide their parents' phone numbers while applying for loans.

Zhang Zemin, a freshman student at Fujian Normal University, said he felt embarrassed to borrow money from his parents, so he bought a computer with a loan.

Most students borrow money to buy digital products, clothes or travel, the survey finds.

However, enterprising student Li Hailang of Ningxia University applied for funding for a start-up to sell Liangpi, a noodle-like Chinese dish made from wheat or rice flour. 

The report also warns university students to be prudent in applying for loans, to understand the terms of contracts, and make good repayment plans.

Kang Jun, dean of the marketing department at Hunan University, calls for more supervision and regulation of online finance, such as requiring providers to guarantee that students are informed.