Kiva project: fourth loan – who to pick?

Hello Cromrades,

Once again, the windfall of cash from your traffic has come in, so it’s time for you to help me spend our money on a Kiva microloan (or two). Go to and pick out your favourite project. Leave a link in the comments, and at week’s end I’ll sift through them and pick the best two.

For the month of October, we made $46.38, and loaned $50.
For the month of November, we made $65.81, and loaned $50.
For the month of December, we made $44.76, and loaned $50.
For the month of January, we made $58.59.

Total amount loaned so far: $150
Total loan funds repaid: $5.00
Fund balance: $66.66


  1. Nepenthe says

    I had a super long rationale typed out, but the “Q” key on the Dvorak keyboard layout is right next to the command key and I have stubby thumbs.

    So I’m going to drop this here, say that I think the organization is probably pretty super, and then rage-quit the internet.

  2. Nepenthe says

    The stars rank how likely the lending partner, the organization in-country that actually disburses the loan, is to go belly-up and default on your loan. There’s also the risk that the individual you’ve loaned to will default, but that’s not part of the risk rating, as far as I can tell. This page describes Kiva’s lender vetting process, but doesn’t go into the details of the risk ratings, sadly. That said, the default risk is, overall, low enough if you don’t expect to get it back (1.1% of loans so far have defaulted). So, perhaps unfortunately for you, you can expect to get your money back. (But you can set your account to just give the money to Kiva to pay for operating expenses once it’s paid back.

  3. Pablo Sr. says

    Here are a couple of quick comments about Kiva. I’ve made over 50 loans without a real repayment problem (one was late out of hundreds). I stick with loaning to women in Africa and Asia and don’t pay too much attention to the lending partner status as long as they have been at it for a while and have three or more stars. I have found that the loans get filled quickly, so waiting until week’s end to decide may be problematic.
    That said, I do like the coconuts lady linked above.

  4. John Horstman says

    How about this one?

    I like supporting agriculture (and other human staple goods), and the lending partner looks solid, though I’m kinda floored by the Portfolio Yield rates for all the lenders I’m seeing. I may not be understanding the overheads and borrower-default rates properly, but with effective combined interest and fee rates at 30% – 90%, it looks an awful lot like the microfinanciers have found a way to simultaneously exploit the global rich AND poor. Is this ACTUALLY necessary to cover risk and operating costs? Anyone know more specifics about how this works? Has anyone actually vetted the microfinance model with respect to who’s primarily profiting from it? What I’m reading on Kiva’s site is that “Portfolio Yield” is a calculation of how much the lending partner charges its borrowers as a percentage of loan total (combination of interest and fees), and 30% a year seems damn high, and the highest I saw so far is 88%. This one is listed at 40.66%, though the lender’s ROI is pretty low at less than 2%, so maybe the high Portfolio Yield rates really are necessary.

  5. mynameischeese says

    I haven’t come across any articles like you suggested about whether or not the microlenders are profiting more than the locals.

    But, when you look at the interest rates, a lot of them seem high by our standards, but are in-line with the norms in those regions. Mostly, when I’ve read up on this online, people say to compare the interest rate with the average for whichever country the loan is taking place in.

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