Kiva's response to COVID-19

And how you can help.  

Find out how you can help through Kiva
How Kiva is supporting Field Partners and borrowers 
COVID impacts on your repayments
How Kiva is supporting borrowers in the U.S.
FAQ


Here's how you can help:

In response to the coronavirus crisis, Kiva is assessing the impact of the pandemic on our partners and borrowers in communities across the globe. Standing by our borrowers and partners through tough times is integral to our work and our role in the US and around the world. We are here to help our community of lenders mobilize economic support in coronavirus-impacted communities worldwide. As the pandemic unfolds, we will continue to provide updates to our lenders on your loans, borrowers, and the partners who administer those loans. 

We are responding to this crisis with loans that provide vital economic support to help borrowers overcome financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


We have also introduced larger loans to help Field Partners stay in business during the pandemic, called Crisis Support Loans. These provide funds directly to our Field Partners to cover their operating needs during this challenging period. 


 




We're supporting Field Partners and international borrowers 

With the spread of COVID-19, we are monitoring international developments and are in close contact with our Field Partners to respond to their needs during this crisis. Our response, in this crisis and crises past, is to find ways to meet the emerging needs of our Field Partners and to prioritize their safety and that of their staff and  the community of borrowers they serve. 

The shutdowns, slowdowns, and economic downturns precipitated by COVID-19 have already directly affected the majority of our partners and their borrowers. 

Some Field Partners have paused all operations while others are maintaining minimal operations  or working from home. Most of our Field partners are adapting their processes and products to address governments' decisions that restrict group gatherings and travel or that enforce a moratorium on loan repayments.   

We are currently working together to determine whether and how each partner can post loans and report repayments to Kiva. We are also assessing partners' short- and medium-term needs to understand how Kiva and Kiva lenders can best support them and their borrowers in responding to COVID-19.

 

Impacts on your repayments

As of July 2020, the following partners have either 1) extended repayment timelines for borrowers, 2) extended repayment timelines with Kiva, or 3) operate in a country with a moratorium on borrower repayments in place. The Partner Pages with more specific updates are linked below:


The following Social Enterprises have also been given a moratorium on repayments: 
  • ACTT
  • Acceso
  • BioLite Inc.
  • Bidhaa Sasa
  • BURN Manufacturing
  • Cycle Connect
  • Deevabits Green Energy
  • Drinkwell
  • EcoEnergy
  • Grupo R5 LTDA
  • Industria del Alimentos Procesados Inalproces S.A. (Kiwa)
  • Krakakoa
  • Nucafe
  • Regenesys
  • Simusolar

 

As we continue to get information from the field, we’ll share updates from Field Partners on their Partner Pages.

Given the economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing uncertainty about the depth of those impacts in countries around the world, both international and U.S. loans have a risk of delinquency or default higher than Kiva's historical rate.   
 

We're supporting borrowers in the U.S.

We also recently announced major updates to the U.S. program in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The Kiva lending community has an important role to play in supporting U.S businesses with loans to survive this economic crisis. Fortunately, the direct nature of our lending program in the U.S. has afforded us agility in expanding our program and support in order to have more impact, as the need for Kiva’s affordable and risk-tolerant capital increases every day. 

In response to the economic challenges presented by COVID-19 in the U.S., we introduced a six-month grace period on repayment, expanded eligibility requirements, and increased the maximum loan amount to $15,000. 

If you’re a lender or small business owner in the U.S., you can find more information on our response here.


 

FAQ 

For Lenders

How is Kiva managing risk for Field Partners during the COVID-19 outbreak? 
Kiva is proactively reaching out to all Field Partners to better understand the situation on the ground in their various countries and any potential impacts on their borrowers and operations. 
Our risk ratings reflect our latest assessment of a lending institution's strength and remain a good, though imperfect, indicator of an organization's ability to weather any form of crisis, including COVID. As we gather information, risk will be assessed and managed directly with the partner on a case-by-case basis. Generally, risk on all loans has increased and we are working to disclose these risks through partner page updates and journals from partners. 

As for posting, partners are naturally stopping or slowing down postings given the current nationwide restrictions. Some partners continue to post loans that were pre-disbursed; others are located in countries that haven't been affected yet and where risk-tolerant capital is still much needed. 

Can I forgive a loan or request a deferral on repayments for a borrower due to COVID-19? 
While offers to forgive loans are very generous, Kiva's lending process is designed to accommodate loans and not donations. This means that all funding requests posted to Kiva are considered loans, and there unfortunately isn't a way to request that a borrower not repay your portion of the loan they received.  

However, our Field Partners are working to address the current economic crisis with their borrowers. Kiva’s risk-tolerant capital grants Field Partners greater flexibility in rescheduling repayments and offering more impactful loan products during this time. 

For example, some Field Partners have begun to provide loans with a grace period on repayment, and to help borrowers refinance loans. Through the loan disbursement and collection process, our Field Partners are staying deeply committed to client protection.

While we are not able to defer repayments, we do anticipate delays in repayment over the next few months and will stand by partners and borrowers during this time. Our hope is that lenders will choose to recycle repayments to continue helping more borrowers around the world during this crisis.
 
I want to support the Global COVID-19 Response fund. What types of loans fall into this category? 
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we consider all business loans especially impactful as the need for affordable capital has increased globally. 

For this reason, all loans that generate and sustain employment will be labeled as COVID relief loans. This includes both U.S. and international loans. Education, housing, and personal use loans are not considered COVID-19 relief loans as they are not income-generating. 

The Global COVID-19 Response fund will also include Crisis Support Loans to Field Partners and social enterprises, to help cover their costs during the crisis. 

What are Crisis Support Loans?
Crisis Support Loans provide loans directly to our Field Partners and small-to-medium social enterprises, to cover their operating needs during this challenging period. 

Some of these needs include paying salaries and retaining staff jobs in order to lend and operate their business as usual. They also enable investments in upgrading communication technology to be able to work remotely and continue to serve borrowers. Through these loans, Field Partners and social enterprises will be able to create, market and finance a new emergency loan type specifically designed for entrepreneurs affected by this crisis.  

Some loans in this category will be used to support existing Labs Social Enterprise (LSE) borrowers, who need additional financing to cover their costs. You can read more about the  Labs Social Enterprise program here: https://www.kiva.org/blog/kiva-launches-direct-to-social-enterprise-program

You can find Crisis Support loans here. 

How else can I help small businesses during this crisis?  
If you’re interested in starting a lending team to support borrowers around a specific cause, such as geographic area or business type, you can create one here. Then, you can join with others to crowdfund loans for businesses that you are passionate about.  

Aside from lending, how can I help Kiva support small businesses in a bigger way? Can I donate?
Yes, we welcome added support for Kiva’s COVID-19 efforts, and have organized a few ways to get involved with commitments over $10,000. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to partnerships@kiva.org. You can also donate to Kiva’s operating expenses.

I have additional questions not covered in this FAQ. How can I get them answered?
If you’re a lender, please email contactus@kiva.org with any more questions you have. General questions can be asked at kiva.org/help.

For U.S. Borrowers

What is the minimum eligibility for borrowing on Kiva? 
The borrower must:
- Meet impact standards
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Not currently be in bankruptcy
- Not be a registered sex offender or terrorist
- Not have violent or financial criminal convictions in the last 5 years
- Be able to cover their monthly debt with their monthly income
** If any of these are not met, the application will be declined

Can individuals take personal loans?
No, Kiva US loans must be used for business purposes.

Does a borrower have to repay this loan?
Yes, this is a loan, not a donation.

How does the grace period on my loan work?
For a borrower that requests a grace period, the initial repayment date will not start until after up to 6 months post-loan disbursal.

How long will these changes in the loan product last?
Given the nature of how this crisis is evolving, we don’t yet have an end date for the changes in eligibility, loan size, and grace period.

Are current repayment terms able to be altered in response to COVID-19? 
Because loans are funded by a base of 1.6mm lenders rather than a single entity, formal repayment terms are complicated to restructure. 
We expect and completely understand this will be a difficult period for borrowers to repay. As needed, borrowers can set up reduced repayment schedules. They should be in communication with borrowers@kiva.org or their local Capital Access Manager if they expect changes. 
We also strongly encourage borrowers to keep lenders posted through the updates section accessible through their borrower portal. We are not reporting on credit, so this will not negatively impact a borrower’s credit score.

Can a current borrower take out an additional loan?
Borrowers with current loans would be asked to repay their current loan before applying for another.

I have additional questions not covered in this FAQ. How can I get them answered?
If you’re a potential or current borrower, please email borrowers@kiva.org with any more questions you have. Thank you!