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I just made 4 micro-loans

September 10th, 2016 at 11:01 am

I had heard of Kiva.org before, but for some reason when I saw someone posted something about it on facebook today, I rather impulsively went to the site, browsed the many people seeking a small loan, and made 4 $25 loans.

Maybe partly because, just like with the donations of my mother's art to a few non-profits, I want to do good things with my inheritance besides just my retirement.

Kiva has a 97% repayment rate. If it turns out any of my loans are not repaid, I'll chalk it off as a one-time contribution. If they are repaid, and I have every hope that they will be, I will keep reusing the money to make new loans.

You can choose which category of loan types you want to browse. I have a soft spot for women entrepreneurs, and would like to encourage them to achieve financial independence (just like me).

So I donated to a retired woman in Moldova who wanted a few hundred dollars to repair her chicken coop fence. She supplements her retirement with money raised from selling chicken eggs. Her son and grandkids live with her. I liked the photo of her holding one of her chickens.



You get to read a little about the person and why they want the money, along with a photo of them. Since I recently learned from DNA testing I'm half eastern European, I felt good making a loan to a Moldovian resident.

I also made 2 small loans to 2 Ugandan women, one of whom wanted money to purchase organic fertilizer for her farm.



I also made a loan to a Pakistani woman who is a weaver (like my mother) and she wanted money to buy fabric scraps she could weave into yarn for sale. I liked the idea of recycling.



These are real people, with real needs, and if you like the idea of really seeing how your donation will be used (or whether it will be simply absorbed by some faceless charity for administrative costs), Kiva is perfect. Fully 100% of your donation goes to the person you're donating to; Kiva will ask you to add on a small fee to cover their costs, but you can choose not to add that fee if you like.

There were many more people i would have liked to help. Many in countries like the Philippines wanted money for water filtration systems or a latrine. It's very sad that so many in today's world still live in what we might consider squalor.

These are not handouts, these are loans to be repaid. What a great way to help those less fortunate. I may be unemployed right now, but I have been blessed to live in a country like the US with a college education and the ability to buy my own home and support myself these many years. There are others int he world who want to do the same, and sometimes they just need a little leg up.

23 Responses to “I just made 4 micro-loans”

  1. Jenn Says:

    PS, I routinely contribute to Kiva as well! I also only choose women for my loans and I choose countries with cultures that mistreat women (in my opinion).

    I read a book several years ago (with real pictures of real people) that had accounts of girls sold into sex slavery and women/babies who died during childbirth because of lack of healthcare and the low value placed on their lives because of their gender. The authors were a couple that were American journalists. The book had such an impact on me and the final chapters addressed my "what can I do?" question. Kiva was mentioned as well as the importance of education for empowering these girls. Statistics showed that the more education a girl had, the less likely she was to get pregnant, sold, or die. As a result, I target my Kiva money to causes that result in education or other empowerment for girls. One loan I made was for feminine products that were supplied to girls because there was a stigma in that culture so girls wouldn't go to school a week a month. The book talked about that situation specifically and how some girls drop out of school once they hit puberty. So sad.

    You will get e-mails from Kiva as your loans are repaid. The subject will be "You've received payment on a Kiva loan!" and the e-mail will tell you how much you've been repaid. (sometimes just a dollar or so). But 95% of my loans have been repaid. I get excited when the repayments add up to $25 of credit in my account, because then I can find another woman to help.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Yes, I like Kiva too! I think I only have $50-$75 in there, so it takes a while to get back $25, but whenever I do, I reinvest it in another Kiva loan. Sometimes I choose based on stories I like and other times I just search by ones that have the least amount of time left to raise their money and donate there.

    I was just prompted to go check it out, and I've only invested $50 but managed to give $150 in loans. However, I see one of mine went into default (my only U.S. loan -- figures!). Oh, and sometimes I donate a couple bucks to Kiva when I reinvest. I may put some more money into circulation soon.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks for letting me know how you learn of repayments...i was wondering about that, Jenn. I am so gung ho about kiva i wanted to become a volunteer editor but they don't have a need right now. I signed up on their wait list.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    I don't think I'd be inclined to loan to US residents; not that they may have a need, too, but I just think it's so much greater in third world countries. There were so many that just wanted sanitary toilet facilities or clean drinking water.

  5. amastewa93 Says:

    The only thing is that Kiva doesn't pay interest, right? Whats the profit for lenders?

  6. Laura S. Says:

    Thank you for sharing. I am going to look into this!

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    No, i as a borrower don't earn any interest. The only profit for lenders is the satisfaction of doing something good. There is interest charged to the borrower by Kiva but I believe this is what pays for the program and keeps kiva going.

  8. lirpalynn Says:

    Thanks for sharing! I just made 2 loans. I hadn't heard of kiva before.

  9. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    If it is interest you are looking for, amastewa93, you need to know that you can actually lose money not only through default of the borrower but by loss through a fluid exchange rate. Some of the in-country banks or other brokers of the loans actually charge the borrowers interest rates that might seem high to you. But there are some that give interest free loans as well. All the information is available before you make each loan.

  10. PatientSaver Says:

    So glad you did, lirpalynn!

  11. VS_ozgirl Says:

    That is such a lovely idea! And one of the things I love about this is as opposed to donating to a charity organisation where you don't know how much of the donation goes on the people in need (because you are also paying for the costs of the organisation and director's wages etc etc) this looks like it purely goes to the people in need.

  12. NJDebbie Says:

    You've inspired me today. I am committed to making at least one micro loan every month and two during Christmas and Lent.

  13. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm going to have to think about this - maybe set aside some of my charitable giving money each month to do a loan every few months ... hmmm...

  14. Joanie Says:

    I love kiva - I try to loan 1st to women artists (I'm a weaver). I have $500. that I just keep rolling over in $25. increments. I usually have enough in repayments each month to fund 1 or 2 new loans and have been very fortunate in the delinquency/defaults - only 1 default in 6 years and many loans.

  15. Kiki Says:

    I was a peace corps volunteer in Moldova-thank you for pick her and that country!

  16. PatientSaver Says:

    I'm thrilled with your support, all of you. I wanted to go back to the original person whose post on something to do with Kiva on Facebook spurred me to do this. I thought there was a search button or something on facebook where i could find the post, but don't see it, and there are zillions of posts....

  17. rob62521 Says:

    What a super idea! I think those of us in America forget how good women truly have it compared to what it is like in other countries.

  18. Tabs Says:

    This is wonderful! It's great that they include pics for you to look at who you are loaning to.

  19. CB in the City Says:

    Thanks for making us aware of this program. When I feel a little more solid in my finances, I'm going to start doing this too.

  20. Petunia 100 Says:

    I have made loans with Kiva in the past, but I quit at some point. Thanks for the reminder of this great program! I am going to start again.

  21. Petunia 100 Says:

    I made one! And I posted it to my Facebook page. You never know who might see it and get interested in Kiva. I am going to make a few more before the year is out.

  22. PatientSaver Says:

    Cheers to lirpalynn, NJ Debbie and Petunia for pledging to make or making a contribution! Love to see it grow.

  23. Rachael777 Says:

    I am going to look into this too. how exciting

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