How to Lend Kiva Credit in Your Kiva Account
Kiva is an example of a micro finance platform that helps connect people with funds to loan, to borrowers who don't have access to traditional loan institutions, or who would otherwise face extraordinarily high interest rates to borrow money.
All sorts of people are drawn to micro finance platforms like Kiva; you don't need to be rich to loan money, but you do need to go into any type of lending situation with a clear eye. Read about the risks of lending money on Kiva's website before making a commitment.
What Is Kiva?
Kiva is an organization that makes it possible for ordinary people to make microloans as low as $25 that in turn helps small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. Money that you lend is collected by Kiva and distributed to the appropriate "field partner." Kiva field partners find and vett borrowers, as well as disburse loans and collect payments owed
If you are interested in helping people living in poverty to better their lives, you might be interested in making a microloan through Kiva.
From the Kiva online platform, you can browse through their list of potential borrowers and read their stories. Kiva organizes the many borrowers in several categories and over 12 sectors that include:
These are just a few representative areas; Kiva's platform allows you to set a number of filters so that you can view only those potential borrowers that operate and work within your area of interest. Once you find a borrower with a compelling story, and you feel that you want to help that borrower achieve his stated business goals, you make a loan from your Kiva account.
Once a loan is made, you can follow the progress of your borrower through scheduled updates posted on the Kiva platform. As the borrower repays the loan, you'll see the funds posted to your account as "Kiva credit."
Kiva Portfolio Page
Add Kiva Credit
Getting Started With Kiva
My Portfolio Page
To get started, sign up by creating an account with Kiva through the Kiva Registration Page. Once you've filled out the forms, you will have access to your Portfolio.
The My Portfolio Page is a snapshot of loans you've made, loan updates, your available Kiva Credit, and information about how your portfolio is distributed.
When loans are paid back by the borrower, the payment shows up in your account as "Kiva Credit." This credit can be used by you to make another loan.
If you are done lending, that is, if you want to get your Kiva Credit back, you can withdraw the money from Kiva and have it deposited to your PayPal account. Otherwise, your Kiva Credit is the amount of money available to you to loan. You can add more credit by clicking on the "add credit" link, which takes you to the "Add Credit" page. Funds are added to your Kiva Credit via PayPal.
If your Kiva Credit account is $0, you don't have to first add credit to make a loan. You can pay (make the loan) via PayPal after selecting a borrower.
Find a Loan
To search for a borrower, click the Find a Loan link on your Portfolio page. This action takes you to the Choose a Borrower page on the Kiva website.
Choose a Kiva Borrower
Use Filters to Browse Kiva Borrowers
Select a Kiva Borrower
When you have found a potential borrower, select the borrower's name to see their pages.
Loan Overview Page
The borrower's story appears on the Loan Overview Page. This page will describe how the borrower will use the loan, and will describe his or her business.
This page also initiates the lending process. Note the drop-down to the right of the borrower's story where you can choose the amount to lend as well as the large orange "Lend" button that appears next to it.
This page may also have information on the "field partner." This is the individual or organization that disburses the loan. Some field partners charge interest, and full disclosure is made. Read carefully to make sure you understand what the field partners charge the borrower; keep in mind that you, the lender, are not being charged interest.
Repayment Schedule Page
The Repayment Schedule Page shows the dates and amounts that will be due on the loan after it is made. You'll always be able to follow your borrower's progress after the loan is made.
Lending Kiva Credit
Review and Pay (Make Kiva Loan)
Lending Kiva Credit
Loans are initiated from the borrower's Loan Overview page:
- From the borrower's Loan Overview Page, select the amount you wish to lend from the drop-down on the right hand side. The minimum loan is $25.
- After selecting the amount, click the large LEND button next to the drop-down. This action will take you to the My Basket Page. This will display the lend you are about to make. If you agree with the information, select the CONTINUE button.
- This takes you to the Review and Pay Page, where you make payment using your Kiva Credit. If you don't have enough credit, you complete payment via PayPal. (Kiva uses PayPal for all its financial transactions.)
Research and read about Kiva and other micro finance organizations before committing money to a loan. Remember that all loans carry some measure of uncertainty; be sure you understand all risks before taking the leap.