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You're a loaner! :)

 
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Have you noted the "I'm a loaner" button? Do you think the initiative is interesting?
No. What button?
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
Yes, but I never even clicked on it.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, but I don't think I'll put money into it.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, but I hardly believe this matters.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, I'm a loaner.
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
Yes, I am considering the initiative.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 2

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MaxDZ8



Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject: You're a loaner! :) Reply with quote

This message is basically to ak-ryuu, but other loaners sharing their thoughts would be welcome.

It's a while I keep an eye on this Kiva thing. It got my attention since the first day I read about it on SHD-WK (reading the back issues) but never truly considered it seriously. I though I could have got something out of my money by some smart move, but I have to admit I haven't managed to make this happen.
It sucks to write, but I have to admit I cannot pull out anything from my money, which is left in a bank account. I cannot live with the idea of that potential going wasted.

As such, I am considering the kiva initiative to at least give someone this very same possibility it seems I cannot exploit.
Would you mind sharing your experience?

It also seems it could be nice to run a poll on this, with a sligher broader scope.
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ak-ryuu
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 1777
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: You're a loaner! :) Reply with quote

MaxDZ8 wrote:
This message is basically to ak-ryuu, but other loaners sharing their thoughts would be welcome.

I'll sum up some of my thoughts/experiences/knowledge about Kiva, might add more if this thread takes off or somebody has specific questions I can answer.

First ... three important things to understand about Kiva that may not be immediately obvious:

1.) It won't make you money. In fact, there's a real risk that you lose money. (You loan money to an entrepreneur somewhere, you'll usually get it back but without interest, and there's a certain risk that the entrepreneur won't pay back -- or that the company in between Kiva and the entrepreneur won't pay back; the latter probably being more likely.)

2.) The connection between you and the specific entrepreneur is somewhat less direct than it might seem at first glance. (You do in a way loan money to the specific entrepreneur, and if they can't pay back, then the loss will usually be passed back to you; however most loans are predisbursed, meaning by the time you click the "Loan" button, the borrower already has his money, and whether you loan to him or not won't directly make a difference; loans are used to backfill the expenses of the MFI.)

3.) The MFI does charge interest to the entrepreneur (This interest may seem quite high. However, the entrepreneur typically doesn't have access to lower-interest funding methods, and loansharks - if around - would ask even more. The interest funds the MFI. Kiva itself is a non-profit organisation which is funded mainly by grants and donations.)

MFI = Microfinancing institute, the company between Kiva and the entrepreneur. Basically, Kiva takes your money, sends it to the MFI, who then loan it to the entrepreneur (or backfill previous loans).

I took my time to inform myself about all this as much as I could (the often-critical www.kivafriends.org forum is a great help for that) before I decided to start loaning. I do believe it's a good thing, but for me personally the "addiction" in it is to read about people in a completely different part of the world, with completely different surroundings, and feeling in some way connected enough to want to help fund that specific loan. Maybe I can't explain it all that well :)

I have made 25 loans to date, and all are on track with repayments; 7 are already completely paid back. The initial addiction where I would put more money into Kiva and browse the site several times daily has waned a bit, and I'm now just reloaning what I already have in there, but I still check the site at least every other day, and make about 2 loans a month.
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MaxDZ8



Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I was mostly in-line with your thoughts since the start.
I must say that the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiva_(organization)]wiki-en kiva[/url] page points out pretty clearly more or less the same things, so kudos to them for being able to condensate user experiences without actually melting them into a mud pool.

For the time being, my worse impression is the interest rate (30+% on average???) they apply and their pretty high operating costs. I get the no-other-way-around-it rationale but I had been so unlucky to experience on me a 22% loan back in the early 90s and the scars still hurt.
Those guys are probably living in a world which is probably less money-centric than ours and they are probably going to have a definitely more pronounced quality of life improvement, but I have trouble configuring Kiva as a non-profit organization.
I certainly don't ask for money, but with those interest rates, they could at least add a money-back guarantee. It would make me feel considerably safer to a certain (purely formal) degree.

I'd probably lurk the kivaFriends forums a bit.

PS: what's wrong with the link tags? I've given up in making those work!
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ak-ryuu
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 1777
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaxDZ8 wrote:
but I have trouble configuring Kiva as a non-profit organization.

Kiva itself is non-profit, operating purely on donations. The MFIs between Kiva and the borrower are usually for-profit organisations.

MaxDZ8 wrote:
I certainly don't ask for money, but with those interest rates, they could at least add a money-back guarantee. It would make me feel considerably safer to a certain (purely formal) degree.

Some MFIs do; it is noted on the individual loan pages as "Default Protection".

MaxDZ8 wrote:
PS: what's wrong with the link tags? I've given up in making those work!

Hm ... I bet it's because of the brackets in the wikipedia link, maybe the forum software's URL parser can't handle those.
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ak-ryuu
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
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Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kiva currently has a promotion going -- 4000 trial loans (you get to loan 25 USD for free -- the money goes back to Kiva though of course, not to you ;)).

Wanna do it? Gotta be fast though -- and the site is under quite some load :) (If you click here to do it, and 4 more people do, I'll even get a t-shirt ;P)

(Hmmm, I haven't loaned in a while, should do that too :))
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ak-ryuu
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Location: Finland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though Kiva added another 4000 for a total of 8000, they were gone rather quickly :) No t-shirt for me, but at least I helped spread the word! (*waves to two new loaners*)
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MaxDZ8



Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry dude, I got pretty much an intense summer. Times have changed for the worse though, I haven't changed my internet-grade credit cards for a while. I still look forward to this project however, perhaps I'll drop 10 for a test soon.
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