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How do I get a loan?
Kiva is not a bank or a microfinance institution, which means that we do not receive or review applications for loans. We do know that looking for the right loan can be a challenging process so here are a few options that you might consider:
Kiva Zip supports entrepreneurs in the U.S. with interest-free loans for your business. These loans are crowdfunded by lenders all over the world and are paid back over the course of a couple of months to a few years. Kiva Zip loans can be as large as $10,000.
Rather than assessing credit history and financial statements, Kiva Zip relies on your trust networks as a measure of creditworthiness. For that reason, applicants are required to secure a trustee or their initial lenders from within their own network prior to fundraising on the Kiva Zip website. To learn more and consider applying for a loan, please visit: zip.kiva.org/borrow
If you have further questions about applying for a loan through Kiva Zip, please email: email@example.com
Kiva's Field Partners--
Kiva partners with Field Partners in many countries around the world, who may be able to make a loan to you. Loans from these partners vary in interest rates, loan amounts and requirements. If you are located outside of the U.S. and would like to apply for a loan through a Kiva Field Partner please contact the Field Partner working in your local area directly. A list of Kiva's Field Partners and their contact information can be found on their partner pages: kiva.org/partners
If you cannot find a Field Partner near you, please try the Mix Market, which is a great website that collects data on microfinance institutions around the world. Please refer to their website: mixmarket.org
Please note: Mix Market is an information service and does not provide funding. Also note that Kiva does not participate or have a say in which businesses are selected by our Field Partners. Contact each Field Partner directly for more information on loan requirements and underwriting guidelines.
How do I lend the Kiva Credit in my account?
To lend your Kiva Credit, please follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to kiva.org/login and sign into your Kiva account. Click "Lend."
Step 2: Find a borrower you'd like to support and click "Lend $25" to the right of the business description to add that loan to your basket.
Step 3: Add additional loans to your basket or click "My Basket" to check out.
Step 4: On the "My Basket" page you'll be asked to make an optional donation to Kiva's operating expenses. You can edit this suggested donation by clicking the "Edit" link next to the donation amount and selecting the amount you wish to donate ($0.00 is an option).
Step 5: On the "Review & Pay" page you will see your available Kiva Credit automatically deducted from your total. Review your transaction and click "Complete order."
If your total exceeds the amount of Kiva Credit in your account, the amount of your Kiva Credit will be deducted from your total, and you will be directed to PayPal to pay for the remainder of your purchase with funds from a credit card or a PayPal account.
Upon completion of your purchase you will be directed to a "Thank You" page on Kiva's website. You will also receive a receipt confirming your successful loan purchase.
How do I use a Kiva Card?
To use your Kiva Card, start by going to kiva.org/redeem
On this page you'll see a box where you can enter in the Kiva Card gift code and click "Apply."
Once you've entered in your gift code, click the orange "Get Started, Find a Loan" button to be directed to all the loans that are currently fundraising. Find a loan that interests you and when you do, add that loan to your basket by clicking the orange "Lend $25" button.
When you've added all your loans to your basket, click "My Basket" at the top of the screen. This will direct you through the checkout process, where you review your order and make sure that everything looks okay. You'll also be given the opportunity to make a donation to Kiva's operating expenses if you want. If your basket looks correct, click "Continue" to proceed through the checkout process.
You will then be prompted to sign into your Kiva account or register if you don't have one. Once you sign in, you'll be taken to the last step of the checkout process (the "Review & Pay" screen). On this page you can review your order one more time and then click "Complete order" or "Pay Now" to complete your purchase.
Please note, if your total exceeds the amount of your Kiva Card, the amount of your gift will be deducted from your total, and you will be directed to PayPal to pay for the remainder of your purchase with funds from a credit card or a PayPal account.
Upon completion of your purchase you will be directed to a "Thank You" page on Kiva's website. You will also receive a receipt confirming your successful loan purchase using your Kiva Card.
Do I have to donate to Kiva's operating expenses?
Donations to Kiva's operating expenses are always completely optional, however they are vital to the work that we do at Kiva.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly toward funding loans. Kiva doesn't take a cut of the loans made on our website, but instead support our operations through optional donations from our lender community. That is why when you check out on Kiva, we'll automatically ask for a 15% donation. However, this donation is always completely optional and you can change your donation amount on the "My Basket" page by clicking the "Edit" link below the donation amount. You'll see a window where you can edit your donation amount ($0.00 is an option). Click "Update my Donation" to save the changes.
How do I view my transaction history?
You can see your transaction history at any time by signing into your Kiva account and going to: kiva.org/portfolio/transactions
This page will list your entire transaction history so that you can check on any of your past deposits, purchases, repayments, and withdrawals.
How do I change the email address registered with my account?
Once you're signed into your Kiva account, you can change the email address associated with your account by going to: kiva.org/settings/account. On this page, enter in your new email address and your Kiva password in the fields provided and click "Save email".
Why are there no Field Partners or borrowers in country X?
Kiva currently works with Field Partners in over 80 countries, and this number is increasing as our partnerships team is able to locate and onboard new partners across the globe. For a list of all the Field Partners and the countries where they work, please visit our partner pages: kiva.org/partners.
We hope to eventually to work in every country around the world, but also must grow at a pace that is healthy for both our current partners and for Kiva.
If we do not work in a country you're interested in supporting, you can check out the Mix Market, which is a great website that collects data on microfinance institutions around the world. You may be able to find a microfinance institution in your area of interest on this site. Please refer to their website at: mixmarket.org
Also, if you know of an organization that would be a great Field Partner, please encourage them to apply on our website. For more information about what Kiva looks for in organizations to partner with, please visit: kiva.org/partners/info
How do I withdraw funds from my Kiva account back into my PayPal account?
You can withdraw your funds from Kiva by following these steps:
Step 1: Sign into your Kiva account at kiva.org/login
Step 2: Upon signing in, you will be directed to a "Portfolio" page.
Step 3: Click the "Withdraw" link under your available credit.
Step 4: Enter the amount you wish to withdraw and the email address registered with your PayPal account, then follow the prompts.
Kiva and PayPal will process your withdrawal request, and in 1 to 2 weeks the funds will be deposited into your PayPal account. Because PayPal processes all of our financial transactions, you must withdraw the funds into a PayPal account. Kiva cannot deposit funds directly into your personal bank account.
If you do not have a PayPal account, please create a PayPal account at paypal.com. If you have any issues creating or updating your PayPal account, you can contact PayPal at 888-445-5032 (Toll Free US) or 402-952-8811 (International), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.
How do I print the Kiva Cards I purchased?
Your Kiva Cards are available for printing anytime before the gift has been redeemed.
To check the status of your Kiva Cards or to print a copy, please sign into your Kiva account and go to: kiva.org/portfolio/kiva-cards
Next to each Kiva Card you'll see a link where you can print that Kiva Card. When the Kiva Card has been redeemed, the name of the redeemer will appear beside the code.
How do I make a loan on Kiva?
To make a loan on Kiva, try following these step-by-step instructions:
1. Go to kiva.org/login and sign into your Kiva account or create a Kiva account.
2. Click the "Lend" at the top of the page, which will take you to a list of borrowers that you can support.
3. Select a borrower to whom you'd like to support and click "Lend $25." Add additional loans to your basket or click "My Basket" at the top of the page to begin the checkout process.
4. In your basket you'll see your loans plus a suggested optional donation to Kiva's operating expenses. You can edit this donation by clicking the "Edit" link next to the donation amount and selecting the amount you wish to donate ($0.00 is an option).
5. Click "Continue" and continue through the checkout process where you'll be directed to PayPal's website to complete payment for your loan.
Upon completion of your purchase you will be directed to a "Thank You" page on Kiva's website and will receive an emailed receipt confirming your loan purchase.
Why isn't PayPal accepting my credit card?
PayPal provides Kiva with free payment processing on all financial transactions, which means that regardless of whether you pay using your credit card or PayPal account, PayPal will process your payment and send you a receipt. Because of this, if you run into trouble using your credit card to make a payment on Kiva, we unfortunately can't do anything directly to figure out why your payment isn't going through.
To help troubleshoot the issue, you may want to try using a different browser or clearing your current browser's cache and cookies, or using a different credit card.
If you continue having trouble using your credit card, please give PayPal's customer service team a call at 888-445-5032 (Toll Free US) or 402-952-8811 (International), or reach out and explain your issue to Kiva's PayPal representative, Tricia Wallace, at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I purchase a Kiva Card?
You can purchase a Kiva Card by going to: kiva.org/gifts/kiva-cards
On this page you will be given options to select the delivery method, value and quantity of the Kiva Cards you wish to buy. Once you've done that and also agreed to our Kiva Card terms and conditions, you can add the Kiva Card to your basket by clicking "Add to Basket" or "Add to Basket and Checkout".
To pay for your Kiva Cards, proceed to the "My Basket" page of checkout where you can begin the checkout process. Once you've gone through the checkout process and completed your purchase, you'll be directed to a "Thank you" page on Kiva's website and will also receive an email from Kiva confirming your purchase.
Please note, you can view and/or print the Kiva Cards you've purchased at any time by signing into your Kiva account and going to: kiva.org/portfolio/kiva-cards
How can my organization become a Kiva Field Partner?
Thanks for your interest in becoming a Kiva Field Partner. The best place to learn about becoming a Field Partner is on our website here: kiva.org/partners/info
This page will list complete information about becoming a Field Partner, as well as the partnership application form where you can apply if you meet the criteria.
In summary, in order to apply for partnership, an organization must at minimum:
--Display a strong commitment to serving the needs of poor, vulnerable, and/or excluded populations.
--Operate an existing lending program with portfolio quality that is in line with market context and industry standards, or be prepared and legally able to set up a lending program.
--Provide a specific proposal for using Kiva’s capital to fund loans with a) high social or environmental impact, and b) pricing that is in line with market context and industry standards.
--Be able to post at least $50,000 USD in loans in the first 12 months on the Kiva website, with capacity to grow in subsequent years.
--Have assets or operating revenues of at least $100,000 USD.
--Be able to legally accept and repay US Dollar debt capital and manage currency risk.
--Be legally registered in its country of operation.
I forgot my password. How do I change it?
You can reset your password by going to kiva.org/login
Click the "Forget your password?" link. Enter your email address and we'll send you instructions on how to reset your password.
For security reasons, the password reset instructions will expire if they are not used within a few hours of being sent, so please make sure you change your password soon after receiving these instructions.
Can Kiva re-lend my Kiva Credit for me?
While we can't make specific loans on your behalf, Kiva has a feature called auto lending which will automatically relend your Kiva Credit according to preferences you set.
To turn on auto lending, sign into your Kiva account and go to: kiva.org/settings/credit
Once you’ve selected your auto lending preferences, click the “Save auto lending settings” button at the bottom of the page to turn on auto lending.
Can I make a loan by paying with a check rather than a credit card?
You're welcome to add Kiva Credit to your account by mailing us a check.
To add funds by check, you'll need to first register for a Kiva account if you don't already have one.
Write your check payable to "Kiva Microfunds" and on the back of the check write the email address associated with your Kiva account.
Please also note the amount you'd like to be credited to your Kiva account for lending and the amount that should be donated to Kiva's operating expenses, should you wish to donate (we recommend 5-10% to help cover the administrative costs associated with check processing).
Mail the check to:
Attn: Maria Zaldivar
875 Howard Street, Suite 340
San Francisco, CA 94103
When your check payment has been processed, which can take a few weeks, we will credit your account and notify you by email. You can then make a loan through the website using the Kiva Credit available in your account as payment.
I know someone who needs a loan. How do they apply?
Kiva is not a bank or a microfinance institution, which means that we do not receive or review applications for loans. We do, however, know that looking for the right loan can be a challenging process so here are a few options that your friend can consider in their search for a loan:
Kiva Zip supports entrepreneurs in the U.S. with interest-free loans for their businesses. These loans are crowdfunded by lenders all over the world and are paid back over the course of a couple of months to a few years. Kiva Zip loans can be as large as $10,000. Rather than assessing credit history and financial statements, Kiva Zip relies on your trust networks as a measure of creditworthiness. For that reason, applicants are required to secure a trustee or their initial lenders from within their own network prior to fundraising on the Kiva Zip website.
To learn more and consider applying for a loan, please visit: zip.kiva.org/borrow
If you have further questions about applying for a loan through Kiva Zip, please email email@example.com and specify the country from which you are writing.
Kiva's Field Partners--
Kiva also partners with Field Partners in many countries around the world, who may be able to make a loan to someone you know. Loans from these partners vary in interest rates, loan amounts and requirements. To apply for a loan through a Kiva Field Partner please contact the organization directly. A list of Kiva's Field Partners and their contact information can be found on the Field Partners page: kiva.org/partners
If your friend cannot find a Field Partner working in their local area and lives outside of the United States, please have them try the Mix Market, which is a great website that collects data on microfinance institutions around the world. Please refer to their website: mixmarket.org
Please note that Mix Market is an information service and does not provide funding. Also note that Kiva does not participate or have a say in which businesses are selected by our Field Partners. Contact each Field Partner directly for more information on loan requirements and underwriting guidelines.
Why are your Field Partners' interest rates so high?
We often get questions about the interest and fees charged by our Field Partners, as the rates on Kiva's website often seem higher to lenders than what they're accustomed to seeing. The average interest rate and fees charged is noted using the “Average Cost to Borrower” field, and this helps cover the high operational costs of facilitating microloans and providing services to borrowers. At Kiva we believe that sustainability is critical to reaching more families and communities around the world, and charging interest to borrowers enables our Field Partners to cover their costs of providing a service, while working to achieve self-sustainability.
Because our Field Partners don’t have to pay interest to Kiva for funds provided by Kiva lenders, Kiva loans provide Field Partners with the flexibility to reach more communities and more rural or underserved populations. Most Kiva Field Partners do charge borrowers interest in some form, however Kiva will not partner with an organization that charges unreasonable interest rates, and we require Field Partners to fully disclose their rates. In addition, Kiva partners only with organizations and microfinance institutions that have a social mission to serve the poor, unbanked and underserved.
A couple of things to consider when thinking about interest rates:
1. As many of our partners serve communities in rural areas, the labor of distributing and collecting loan payments can add to the organization’s operational costs.
2. Comparisons of interest rates charged by commercial banks in underdeveloped countries and interest rates charged in developed countries can be misleading. A developed banking system can provide funds at lower rates, and when a bank facilitates larger loans, a lower proportion of costs are needed to cover transactional expenses. Microfinance is an expensive business, which is essentially the reason small loans are not provided by large banks.
3. Developing countries also typically have high inflation rates which need to be factored into the interest rates charged. For example, an interest rate of 20% per year in a country where inflation was 22% per year would not cover costs. The interest rate charged by the institution would need to be greater than 22% in order to simply cover the cost of inflation, let alone other operational costs.
In addition to the average cost to borrower, we list our Field Partners' return on assets (ROA) on their partner pages (kiva.org/partners) so that lenders can see how much money the Field Partner is making based on the loans they’re disbursing. ROA is a measure of profitability, and currently, our partner average a negative ROA.
For additional information about interest rates in the microfinance industry, check out: mftransparency.org/
Will I receive interest on my loan?
Kiva doesn't pay interest to our lenders. Kiva's loans are not an investment and are not recommended as an investment.
Kiva also doesn't charge interest to our Field Partners. However, our Field Partners often do receive interest that is paid by Kiva borrowers. Self-sustainability is critical to creating long-term solutions to poverty, and charging interest to borrowers is often necessary for our partners to achieve this. Our Field Partners are free to charge interest, but Kiva will not partner with an organization that charges exorbitant interest rates and we also require Field Partners to fully disclose their interest rates. You can find more information about the interest rates that Kiva's Field Partners charge on our Field Partner pages (kiva.org/partners).
Microfinance is an expensive business, which is essentially the reason why small loans are not provided by large banks. Charging interest to borrowers enables our Field Partners to bear these costs and achieve self-sustainability.