Monday, August 10, 2015

Try out Kiva for Free!

I know I've talked about it here before, but now's the perfect time again.  Kiva is one of my favorite charities. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, here's a short run down of how it works.
  1.  Someone needs a loan.  Typically a small amount and for a specific issue- i.e. $500 for a home repair or to buy some cattle or to add inventory to their store.  These borrowers are typically oversees, although some are from the U.S.
  2.  Say the loan is for $500 for a couple dairy cows.  Kiva lists their loan on their website and tries to find 20 people will to each give $25.  If you want to loan, you make a $25 payment through Paypal.
  3. Once the $500 is raised the borrower has money for their new cows and now has to start paying that money back.  The terms can vary- some pay back all at once at the end of a time period, some pay a little each month until the loan is paid back.  Some pay a little each month and then have a large balloon payment at the end.  It all depends on the terms of the loan.  All terms are spelled out in each loan's listing.
  4. Your money is deposited as a Kiva credit.  Any time you have a credit, you can relend it, transfer it back to your Paypal account, or just do nothing and let it sit in your credits.
  5. Eventually, the borrower repays his loan.  And voila, you've successfully made a micro finance loan and had it repaid. 
What to try Kiva?  Right now they are encouraging current users to invite their friends to try it for free.  Due to sponsorship, you can make a loan using someone else's $25.  There's no risk to you.  If you click any of the links in this post, I get to make a free loan too.  (Note: repayment will not be paid to you or me, but to the sponsor that put up the $25.)  It's a great way to try out Kiva and see what a difference $25 can make in another person's life, with no risk to you.

Have any questions?   I've made 30 loans to date.  Lay them on me, I'd be happy to answer.

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