Here’s a break from all the typical Christmas fluff. Today, our idea for a Christmas Gift is to make a difference to someone who could be living thousands of miles away from you, in the form of a microloan. For a few years now, I’ve been lending money on Kiva.org. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t make a single cent from these loans. Here’s how it works.
Kiva, a non-profit organisation made up mostly of volunteers, runs a microfinancing website where people all over the world can chip in and lend money to people in need around the world. These people are mostly from third world countries or developing nations, although there are some in developed countries like USA. You can view who these people (some are groups) are from the Kiva website. Just an example, here are some of those who I’ve lent to:
Kiva then distributes the money to their field partners accordingly when the money is donated, and does not earn interest or commission from that. The donees will then repay back the loan according to their individual repayment terms (which you can also read about before committing to the loan).
As the loan is being repaid, the money will be credited back into your account (every few months usually). When you have received $25 or more back into your account, you can either use it to loan again (each loan is minimum of $25), or cash it back into your paypal.
I’ve always chosen to loan again, because it feels really amazing about how such a small sum(to us) can make such a big difference to someone else’s life.
So far, I’ve had 6 loans pay me back in full, and no one has defaulted on their payments yet. It’s very encouraging to see these folks be able to build a better life for themselves and their family through their work and homes.
You can also donate to Kiva (donate, not loan), to support their organisation.
I do like giving out Kiva gift cards to friends and family who are interested to make a difference to the lives of others. I also like receiving them instead of physical gifts!!
So this Christmas, if you would like to make change $25 at a time, you can gift Kiva credit to your friends and family, or help a stranger in need of a loan too.
For everyone who loans via this link, Kiva will help me give a loan for free too. (free loans cannot be cashed out so there’s no earning credit here)
Happy holidays!!! It’s 3 days to December, how time flies!