San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
Making micro loans to people in third world countries
User Forum Topic
Submitted by jimmyle on February 8, 2009 - 4:06pm
Have you ever heard of micro loans but didn't have a chance to investigate it?
I just opened an account at Kiva.org and made three micro loans to people in the third world to help them start or expand a business. For example, a person in Cambodia needs $400 to start a motorcycles repair business, you can loan a minimum amount of $25 and you will be one of many that loan to this person. The delinquency rate is extremly low (about 2-3%)and because you only loan $25 (or more) it is not very risky to your personal finance. The interest is usually about 12% and people in the third world usually have to pay 80% interest rate from local sources. By giving them a 12% interest rate, you are helping them trememdously and at the end you get your money back. This works best if you have a paypal account.
I started to made loans through Kiva.org because of a personal experience in Vietnam last year. During my visit, an elderly woman was pushing a foods cart on the street and it got hit by a truck. The cart was smashed and the prepared foods on the dirt. The truck sped away and this poor woman was sitting on the ground crying. My local friend was driving and I wanted stop to give her some money knowing this food cart was probably her entire livelihood. But my friend didn't want to stop, he said "don't waste your time, there are so many like her in Vietnam you can't help them all." For some reason the image of this lady sitting the ground bleeding and crying is still vivid in my mind.
I know that the economy is poor and many of us have worries too but the difficulties we are facing here is nothing compared to what third world people face their entire lives. Hope you will explore kiva.org and let others know your experience through this thread. Thanks,
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