Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thing 48: Make 10 microloans

Yes, that's right.  I'm entering the world of high finance to be a money lender.

If you haven't been made aware of the world of microloans, the wikipedia article is pretty good (and the first one I've read for Thing 51!)  The idea has been around for ages but has really grown in popularity in the last few years.  There are a few organizations that allow regular ol' people like me to get involved, including Kiva.org, which I've known about for a while.  I think Kiva's structure is pretty typical of most of these kinds of websites.  There are lots of loans in the fundraising stage at any given time that you can choose to participate in.  You can lend as little as $25 or up to $500 (it looks like to me, anyway.)  The loans tend to be backfilled - the field partner in charge of the loan has already given the lendee the money so they can get started right away without having to wait for their loan to finish funding.  Once the loan has finished fundraising, it heads towards repayment.  The repayment terms are laid out up front so you know when you'll start to see money back.  When you do start being repaid, you can either withdraw the money or reloan it.

My plan is 10 microloans.  I haven't decided if I'll use just one site or try out more than one.  I'm hoping to focus my loans on things that will either help the entire community (so things like improving the availability of water) or allow someone to get an education they wouldn't otherwise be able to get.

How will I know I'm done?
My number of loans made will be 10.  I won't worry about the loans being repaid, though that certainly would be nice.

How am I doing?
Completed October 15, 2011, read about it here.

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