Personal Satisfaction from Kiva Microloans

What a feeling of accomplishment I get after loaning $25 on Kiva, getting repaid, and re-loaning it to another borrower!

Dreams are universal, opportunity is not.

By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.

You can select borrowers by country, sector (e.g. agriculture, clothing, small retail stores, etc.), gender, repayment period, and a variety of ratings. Loan requests are underwritten/vetted.

Personally, I like the following scenario: start with $50 and lend $25 to two borrowers. Half way through the repayment period, you will have $12.50 back from each loan for a total of $25 which you can then lend to a third borrower at the halfway point. You will now have three monthly repayments being made to your Kiva account from your original $50. Every time your account reaches $25, re-lend to another borrower. Repeat.

To support the above approach, I usually select loans that are no longer than 16 months and have a level monthly repayment schedule. This info is displayed on the loan information page.

With this approach, it is likely that you will be able to loan $25 to 3 borrowers for each 12-16 month period. And remember, this is only using the original $50.

I recently had a friend ask me about Kiva. I told them about this scenario. They ended up putting $100 into the system so they could have 4 loans going concurrently. This meant that they would accumulate $25 of repayments every 4 months (not every 8 months like the above scenario), so they could loan to a 5th borrower after 4 months, a 6th borrower after 8 months, a 7th borrower after 12 months (if using 16 month loans). And all with the original $100.

That’s a lot of help for people who are pulling themselves out of poverty and bettering their living conditions.

I really like Kiva. I’ve been loaning and re-loaning on it for six years. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to made 56 loans of $25 thus far just by re-loaning the same money.

I strongly encourage you to check out Kiva. Put in $50, $75 or $100 and try it out. If you don’t like it, just withdraw your repaid balance at any time.


Kiva states:

  • 1.7 million people have made loans to borrowers in 84 countries.
  • Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
  • 100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.
  • Lending through Kiva involves risk of principal loss. Kiva does not guarantee repayment or offer a financial return on your loan.