Dramas are very concerned with society. Dramas affect society and society affects dramas in return. Therefore, when we watch some dramas, we can frequently notice current issues of society. ‘War of Money’ is an example. This drama was televised last year, and dealt with the life of private moneylenders. It realistically showed the negative consequences of personal debt. It makes viewers notice our social problems with the private money market.
Recently, this problem came out in the news in bold relief. Two months ago, a male talent was found dead in his car in what the police called a suicide. They linked his death to his personal debt to private moneylenders. The number of cases concerned with private debts increases every year and it makes people think of the private money market negatively. Therefore, through the drama, not only can we notice our social problem but also become seriously concern about it.
The private money market in Korea
When we watch cable TV broadcasts, we see many commercials about personal loans. A scale of the private money market is huge and it is continuously growing. According to a survey conducted in June 2008, the number of people who participate in the private money market is about 1,900,000. Approximately 50% of them get a legal government clearance, and 17% of them are illegal businesses without any permission. The rest of them are individuals who borrow from acquaintances.
The survey shows that more males use private loans than females. The biggest customers of the private loan company are from twenties to thirties. It is also shown that well-educated people tend to make loan more than the uneducated. After the Korean economy crisis, a gap between rich and poor has gotten wider and it is connected to Korea’s weak economic strength. This caused people to borrow money from the private loan companies for living expenses, as it is easier to borrow money from private companies than from first financial sector. The rate of people borrowing money from the private company is rapidly growing. People find private companies either through commercial advertisements or online.
Japan controls the Korean market
Japanese companies control the Korean private money market. After the Korean economic crisis, many Korean banking organizations became bankrupt and many Japanese banking companies penetrated the Korean baking market. The biggest personal loan company in Korea is founded by Korean residents in Japan. The second biggest one is also established by the Japanese. If Japanese domination over Korean banking market gets serious, the money flow of Korean private companies will become dependent on Japan.
Their false and overstated ad
‘Interest-free loans for a month’, ‘Loan without collateral for women’, ‘Loan service faster than pizza delivering service’- We can easily see such catchy phrases in the advertisements. These words craftily attract common people who have money problems. However, these words are false and overstate things. In the first half of 2007, their false and overstated advertisements gave rise to public criticism. A specific company claimed that they could lend money interest-free for 40 days. However, its falsity became clear. Actually they lend the money interest-free for only 5~10 days.
The words “Although we ask for your credit information from a credit information company, your credit rating won’t be an influenced.” are often presented at the homepage of the company. However, it is also false. If clients’ credit information is aquired by the company, their credit rating will be lower because the credit information company notices private moneylenders’ are inquiring. The credit information company thinks that because customers’ economic strengths are unstable, they go to the private loan market. Because of this, many customers are disadvantaged in public banking facilities.
The blackness power of the private loan market
If you watched ‘War of Money’, you would experience the character’s terrible life that no one should have suffered. Although the scenes of the drama have a little artificial manipulation, people who really experienced the private loan market will see this more realistically than anyone else. They know that a little money they borrowed from the market, their private debts are multiplied rapidly by high interest rates in a short time. Therefore, the customers, who cannot payback their debts on time, experience some terrible incidents with the moneylender. The moneylenders make a contract with the debtor stating that they will abandon his/her body if he/she cannot pay back on time and this is happening in real life.
Although the police try to arrest the illegal private moneylenders who raise interest rates above the rates the government limits as a ceiling and commit violence toward their debtors, it is difficult to find them. As the Korean economy develops into bad shape, the frequency of the incidents will increase. Finally, many insolvent debtors may chose suicide. Experts say that the Korean suicide rate doubled after the Korean economic crisis. Its record is the highest record among the OECD countries.
Our coping with it
As we can see in the drama ‘War of Money’, in the illegal private loan world, money has a powerful strength. It is like a black hole in that once a borrower goes into this world, it is difficult to get out of it. Therefore, we should have an attitude to never go into such a terrible world. The best way is that we should not contact them. Customers of the private loan market have a common thing that their credit rating is low. Therefore, they cannot borrow money from banks of the first financial sector where its interests are relatively low. There are banks of the second financial sector (ex: savings banks) that can offer relief to them with lower interests than the private loan market. People who have a low credit rating can borrow money from there. Therefore, if you want to borrow money but your credit rating is low, you should first visit the second financial sector rather than jumping into the terrible market. In Korea, there are many saving banks such as HK savings bank, Solomon saving bank and Hyundai Swiss savings bank.
In the past, private moneylenders contributed to the economic growth in that they lent money to medium and small enterprises. However, recently they (not all of them) make some social problems and people regard them as a social malady. Thinking of a talent’s death because of his private debts, we should be aware of its danger and act wisely. Be aware that you can fall into a black hole like the drama ‘War of Money’ at anytime and become lost. < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >