From Iceland — Microloan Companies Sell E-Books Instead Of Charging Interest

Microloan Companies Sell E-Books Instead Of Charging Interest

Published April 14, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Paul Fontaine, book by David Graeber

Two microloan companies have started selling e-books on their sites, the prices of which cover the fees normally charged for taking out a loan.

RÚV reports that two microloan companies, Kredia and Smálán, have taken a new approach to lending. Upon registering on the site, consumers can buy two e-books for 5,500 ISK. Titles include Crime and Punishment, Pride and Prejudice and the Confessions of St. Augustine.

Purchasing the books brings a 20,000 ISK loan along with it. Rather than having to pay interest and fees in return, all borrowers need to do is pay back the original loan within 30 days, and keep the books. The price of the books cover the steep costs borrowers would normally have to pay on top of the original loan.

Last December, the Consumer Agency ruled that the two companies were charging fees that far exceeded the legal limit a loan company can charge in terms of interest and penalties.

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