So many people supported borrowers in India that all of our loans are currently funded.
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This is the face of financial empowerment. In rural India, there are countless individuals that have no financial options. Every day they struggle to make ends meet, with only a small amount of money standing between them and a sustainable future. This is what Kiva loans are all about -- bringing opportunity where it's needed most.
With over 70 million borrowers, the Indian microfinance sector is the largest in the world. But 80% of these borrowers and services are concentrated in just five Indian states, leaving millions of people -- mostly women -- without access to financial resources.
Responding to incredible lender demand, Kiva has tackled complex government regulations to expand financial access in India. We’ve also worked hard to partner with socially-responsible organizations that reach remote, underserved communities. Broader reach means more people will be able to achieve financial independence, enabling them to build brighter futures for themselves and their families.
Making a Bigger Impact
Kiva is working closely with its Field Partners in India to maximize lenders’ impact. The goal: to fund loan products that are custom-tailored to help borrowers change their lives. This is especially important in India, where there has long been a one-size-fits-all approach to microlending.
That’s why we’re thrilled to post loans that can:
- Support excluded and vulnerable groups like widowed women, physically-challenged individuals and families affected by leprosy.
- Improve drinking water and sanitation systems.
- Promote solar and renewable sources of energy.
By extending microfinance beyond its current reach in India, Kiva is working to get lenders’ funds to the people who need them most.
What’s Different about Loans in India?
In India, Kiva loans are subject to a number of regulations used by the Reserve Bank of India to control foreign funding of Indian institutions. These regulations require that loans made to non-government microfinance institutions have a minimum term of 3 years.
Fortunately, we’ve figured out a way to work within these rules: Our Field Partners will simply hold on to loan funds for the 3-year term before sending repayments back to lenders.
What this means for you:
- Funds will only be sent to Kiva and repaid to lenders after 3 years, not as borrowers repay. During this time, our Field Partners will regularly collect repayments from borrowers, and may re-loan your funds to other borrowers in need to maximize your impact. You only risk default for the loan you’ve selected.
- Kiva will not provide regular repayment updates during India loan terms like it does for other Kiva loans. Instead, lenders will receive loan status details with their eventual repayment.
These loans carry additional risk:
Country regulations: While Kiva expects to receive repayments from its Field Partners and repay Kiva lenders at least 3 years after a loan is made, lenders assume the risk that repayments may be delayed due to regulatory difficulties transferring funds out of India.
Currency fluctuations: Kiva’s current policy around currency risk will also apply to loans in India. However, because funds have to stay with Field Partners in India for at least 3 years, Kiva lenders assume the risk of exchange rate fluctuations for this full period.
Partnership changes: Kiva will not provide real-time delinquency, default and risk ratings for its India Field Partners, which is why those fields have been set to “N/A.” Because Kiva will be unable to withdraw funds immediately from India in the event of institutional failure or partnership dissolution, lenders will bear increased risk that does not apply to other loans.
You can learn more about our Field Partners in India and who they serve on their partner profile pages.