Rest of World: Loan apps ruined their reputations. A shady online market offered to repair them

Rest of World: Loan apps ruined their reputations. A shady online market offered to repair them. “The economic condition in Nigeria has caused an increase in the demand for soft loans, which come with high interest rates and short repayment periods, often only a week or two. As collateral, the apps ask for financial details, and access to read private data such as users’ location, media files and photographs, and contacts. When people fail to repay at the given time, the apps respond by sending messages threatening litigation, defamation, and even voodoo attacks.”

Inc 42: Mumbai Police Asks Google To Tweak Play Store Policy To Curb Dubious Loan Apps

Inc 42: Mumbai Police Asks Google To Tweak Play Store Policy To Curb Dubious Loan Apps. “The Mumbai Police has reportedly asked tech giant Google to bring additional safeguards and tweak its Play Store policy to curb the misuse of the app store by dubious loan apps. The city police found that the app developers and fintech companies that floated instant loan apps with Chinese links exploited a number of loopholes in the Play Store, ET reported.”

Reuters: Scam loan apps extorting Mexicans thrive in Google Play Store

Reuters: Scam loan apps extorting Mexicans thrive in Google Play Store. “[Pedro] Figueroa is one of more than 2,230 people who fell prey to fraudulent loan apps in Mexico between June 2021 and January 2022, according to data compiled by the Citizen Council for Justice and Security, an advocacy group based in Mexico City. The Thomson Reuters Foundation found 29 loan apps with millions of downloads in the Google Play Store that have been reported to the authorities for extortion, fraud, violation of Mexican privacy law, and abusive financial practices.”

New York Times: Trump Officials Awarded $700 Million Pandemic Loan Despite Objections

New York Times: Trump Officials Awarded $700 Million Pandemic Loan Despite Objections. “The report, released by the Democratic staff of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, describes the role of corporate lobbyists during the early months of the pandemic in helping to secure government funds as trillions of dollars of relief money were being pumped into the economy. It also suggests that senior officials such as Steven Mnuchin, the former Treasury secretary, and Mark T. Esper, the former defense secretary, intervened to ensure that the trucking company, Yellow Corporation, received special treatment despite concerns about its eligibility to receive relief funds.”

The Guardian: Google profiting from ‘predatory’ loan adverts promising instant cash

The Guardian: Google profiting from ‘predatory’ loan adverts promising instant cash. “Google is profiting from ads promoting ‘instant’ cash and loans delivered ‘faster than pizza’ despite a pledge to ​protect users from ‘deceptive and harmful’ financial products. The ads were served to people in the UK who searched terms like ‘quick money now’ and ‘need money help’​ and directed users to ​firms offering high-interest loans.”

Yahoo Finance: Free tool allows job seekers to find companies that pay student loans

Yahoo Finance: Free tool allows job seekers to find companies that pay student loans. “The tool is a jobs board developed by student loan startup Goodly that allows users to browse thousands of companies that offer student loan repayment assistance. There are currently about 2,000 companies on the platform, and jobs can be sorted by where the company is located, the industry, company size, and more.”

New York Times: Racial Bias Skewed Small Business Relief Lending, Study Says

New York Times: Racial Bias Skewed Small Business Relief Lending, Study Says. “From the very start of the Paycheck Protection Program last year, it was clear that minority entrepreneurs, especially Black business owners, struggled more than white borrowers to find a willing lender. A new research project indicates that the problem was particularly pronounced at smaller banks — and human bias appears to be the main reason.”

No forgiveness: Small businesses still on hook for rescue loans (Politico)

Politico: No forgiveness: Small businesses still on hook for rescue loans. “When the government pledged to give small businesses billions of dollars in rescue loans during the pandemic, it was an offer almost too good to refuse: The loans could be forgiven if employers only maintained payroll. In little more than four months, the Paycheck Protection Program doled out $525 billion in loans to 5.2 million borrowers, which economists estimate saved millions of jobs. But to date, none of the loans have been forgiven.”

ProPublica: They Sued Thousands of Borrowers During the Pandemic — Until We Started Asking Questions

ProPublica: They Sued Thousands of Borrowers During the Pandemic — Until We Started Asking Questions. “A Silicon Valley-based installment lender that caters to Latino immigrants announced on Tuesday that it would drop all the lawsuits it has filed against borrowers who fell behind on payments, including during the coronavirus pandemic. Oportun Inc. also said it would cap interest rates on new loans at 36% — a percentage that consumer advocates consider the gold standard for smaller personal loans.”