Just about a month ago, I decided to sign up with Kiva and contributed $25 to a loan. The loan has a term of 12 months and is repaid monthly. Kiva just made a change to their procedures as well. Now, instead of making lenders wait until the entire loan is repaid before they can withdraw or re-loan the money, they have access to that money as soon as the monthly payment is made.
Last week, I was delighted to get an e-mail indicating that the borrower I loaned money to had made her first repayment! The borrower is a 23-year-old woman in Tajikistan who works in animal sales. She buys young cattle, raises them, and sells them at market with the help of her husband. I was delighted to see her making her payments on time, and I hope that the loan can help her grow her business.
I’m really happy with Kiva so far. I treat it more like a charitable donation than a loan, as there is no interest involved, and I will probably re-lend the funds from this loan once it is paid back. But that’s not required – I can choose to pull the money out as soon as the loan is paid pack each month and all I’m out is bit of interest. Not too bad for a gesture that provides a huge benefit to someone else. Right now, I’m letting that payment sit in my account at Kiva to be re-loaned when I have the entire $25 back.
If you haven’t already, go check out Kiva. And if you do sign up, I’d love it if you’d put me (megan [at] countingmypennies.com) as your referral. I don’t get anything for it, but when I open my Portfolio page on the site, I can see how many of my invitees have made loans, and it just makes me smile to know that the people I know are so generous.