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My first Kiva loan

February 23rd, 2007 at 09:36 am

I got my tax refund today! I wasn't expecting it until next week, but I'm certainly not complaining. I had stated that I wanted to make a Kiva loan (www.kiva.org) with part of my return so that's the first thing I did.

What I like about Kiva is that they are the first non profit that PayPal doesn't charge any fees for processing, even if credit cards are used. So I know that if I donate $75 they are actually getting $75.

My selection process was actually pretty simple. I thought through a bunch of different ways to do it, perhaps keeping the focus on a specific country/region or gender. But in the end I decided on something much simpler. I sorted the open loan requests Oldest to Newest and scanned through the first page of Oldest to find the one who had the most raised so far. That's it. I selected a gentleman who had $125 left to be raised and my $75 pushed him to just $50 left. After I processed everything I went back to sort the list again to see what the new percentage was. And guess what? Someone else had picked up the other $50 while I was fiddling around with checking out and such. He is now fully funded! This particular loan is slotted to be paid back in 14-16 months.

My goal for now is to make a new donation with tax returns. The reason being, since I adjust my witholdings so I don't overpay, what I get back is really bonus since it's based on student loan interest. So once a year I'll make a new donation. Once the loan(s) get paid back I will just recycle the money back and reloan it to someone else. The hope being that when my student loans are paid in full, or at least I stop getting tax refunds, that I'll have enough recirculating that I don't need to add any more donations.

I also made a small donation to the company itself to help them with rent and such. They don't get a cut from the loans.

I am also considering buying Kiva gift certificates for gifts this next year. The receiver then gets to pick someone to fund and then can withdraw the money once its paid back if they so desire. We'll see. I'm just really excited that the person I picked got funded so fast!

4 Responses to “My first Kiva loan”

  1. threebeansalad Says:

    Good for you! I think I'm going to use Kiva gift certificates as gifts for some upcoming bdays mysef.

  2. Nic Says:

    ^5...You're doing a wonderful thing.

  3. nika Says:

    I've never heard of Kiva before, but I know now -- thanks to this blog.
    I'm in!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I love the idea of these micro loans. I think it probably means the world to these people who receive them.

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