As economies across the world have come crashing down due to the coronavirus, Indian consumers are suffering from suppressed wages, mass lay-offs, and reduced economic activity. Yet, while the entire country’s economy has been turned upside down, one sector of the market has silently exploded: Instant loan suppliers, lending money to Indian workers who desperately need the funds to pay off critical bills. These lenders, however, charge gigantic interest rates which enable them to profit off of the backs of economically insecure workers.
When I was in middle school, I hit a phase where I became addicted to money-earning apps, like FreeMyApps. Over the period of a few months, I had earned around $300. With that money, I probably could have bought something useful–but no, being my middle school self, I decided to spend all my hard earned money on Clash of Clans and bought 42,000 gems (the in-game currency of Clash of Clans). It seemed like a value buy at the time–42 thousand gems sounds like quite a lot. But, within one day, I had used up all my gems.