Have you Loaned Money on Kiva?

Posted by Madison on July 16, 2009

We’ve talked about Lending Club a lot lately, but something that has been in the back of my mind is Kiva.

Kiva is a micro lending site aimed at low income entrepreneurs in 44 developing countries. It’s a cross between a charity (it’s a non profit organization) and a peer-to-peer social lending site.

You select a 6-12 month loan based on the profiles of the people involved and the business they are running. The minimum investment is $25. The loans do not earn any interest.

You can make a loan using PayPal, with free payment processing, or a credit card. Once you make your loan, you get updates and can track repayments. Once your loan is paid, you can lend it to someone else.

The default rate is 1.5%. So there is some risk in not getting your money back, but it is low. You can see more of the Kiva stats.

The heartwarming part about Kiva is how such a little amount of money can make such a big impact in another country. When the average loan is $415.46 for a Kiva entrepreneur, it really reinforces how far that money can go for their business.

In an interesting twist, Kiva, recently announced they will now be funding loans in the United States, their first move into lending in a developed country.

I’m interested in putting some money to work with Kiva. Have you loaned money on Kiva? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Personal Finance

Moving on to the personal finance finds of the week. My favorite is the crazy article about the glitch that hit some Visa users with a $23 quadrillion charge… and a $15 overdraft fee!



By the Numbers

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Comments to Have you Loaned Money on Kiva?

  1. I’ve been active on Kiva for quite a while. I’ve gradually added money from month to month to the point where I’m pretty much recycling the money received each month into another loan.

    So far my stats have been pretty good. I’ve had a few loans be delinquent, but out of 30 none have defaulted.

    You don’t make any money with Kiva. You just help people get started.


  2. I’ve been loaning with Kiva for several years now and it’s been great. I haven’t added money for a while but just keep re-loaning out the same amount. My original $25 has probably helped 5 or 6 people now! I think it’s really great.


  3. I’ve loaned to Kiva for three or four years now. 30 loans from my original $275. I have one that is delinquent right now – I’m rooting for her to get back on track but otherwise have found it to be a fabulous experience! My father thinks Kiva is so great that he has a note at the bottom of his e-mails encouraging people to check it out.


  4. Also take a look at lend4health.org – an up and coming site built on the kiva principles, but to fund kid’s health needs not covered by insurance.


  5. I’ve been loaning via Kiva for about 6 months now – it’s a fantastic way to make a difference. I wrote an article recently about why I use Kiva: http://massivegrowth.blogspot......-kiva.html


  6. I heard about this on Oprah, but haven’t done it yet. I really want to try it sometime.


  7. I’ve been using Kiva for years. I LOVE it. I have one delinquent loan–I think it’s Kenya? One of the countries in Africa had almost everyone stop payment on their loans because of the civil war. I don’t mind at all. That sounds like a very good reason to lose the loan (I just wish Kiva would write off the loan–it’s been unpaid for over a year and I’d rather just forgive it than keep being reminded. But I guess they hope that things will get better and back on track eventually).

    I’ve had dozens of loans and all have been paid back on time or early otherwise.


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