Getting Started with Microloans

Trip Start Feb 29, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Friday, February 29, 2008

While traveling we saw many beautiful things, we saw some not so beautiful things as well - especially in other countries.  We wanted to try and help those who are less fortunate but didn't know how - sometimes giving to charity is simply throwing your money away and you really are never sure if it gets to the intended parties - especially at third world countries.
Then we discovered micro-loans.
Microloans are very small loans to various people who are living in poverty and cannot get a loan otherwise (or at a very high interest rate).  What we consider little money could be a life changing amount to someone else.
But how - we can't just send a check to some random address in the middle of a bustling city.
That's just not a wise thing to do.
We saw on TV a show called the "Penny Revolution", which is about how microloans change lives. One of the companies featured was MIFEX, so we researched them.  As it turned out they are a credit union and give out and process microloans in Ecuador.  They identify high potential business in poor areas and help them out.
This is how we discovered Kiva ( a peer-to-peer lending website.  After researching them as well we donated our first $25  - which you can donate through PayPal without any fees (we also donated $2.5 to Kiva since they do not take a cut of the loans).
What do we get?
We also get a lot of satisfaction knowing we made a real difference.
We get our money back within a certain amount of time and we can lend it to someone else or simply put it back in our bank account.
That is if the borrower doesn't default on the loan - but microloans have an unusual high re-payment.
We got assured by Kiva that:
- 100% of our funds will be sent to our local partner who will disburse the loan .
- We will receive periodic updates showing the impact of our loan.
- Once your loan is fully repaid, we may withdraw the funds or sponsor a new entrepreneur

We intend to publish the periodic updates we got on Travelpod so you can see the progress of our loans.

Should be interesting.
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