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Do you support Kiva's decision to allow loan requests from the U.S.?

  • Yes
    46%
    1,079 votes

     
  • No
    45%
    1,052 votes

     
  • I'm not sure
    8%
    191 votes

     

Posted 8 years.

224 Comments

  • Kevin - 4 years ago

    I agree it's up to each lender to choose who they lend to. And I know your hearts at Kiva are without doubt in the right place.

    For me the key thing is that these people in the USA are not poor. Being unable to access credit in the USA is a million miles from being unable to access credit in rural Uganda. If anyone doubts that, go and try both lifestyles and let us know how they compare. Many of the things your US borrowers take for granted would be unimagined luxury to most of your other borrowers.

    By placing them side by side you, Kiva, are implying that they are at least in the same ball park. The international stereotype of the USA is that many of its citizens have little clue about the realities of the world beyond their shores. I don't wish to be harsh, but this move by a USA-based organisation perpetuates that stereotype.

    Where next - Japan? Luxembourg? Switzerland?

    Once my most recent loan has been repaid I will be withdrawing the funds and moving to Zidisha. The borrowers there are charged lower interest rates too.

  • Jan - 4 years ago

    Why shouldn't Kiva also help in the US? I see no reason against it.

  • hermilapvdcnj - 6 years ago

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  • Billy - 7 years ago

    I think that if the service is strengthened by the additional lending then this is a good thing. I am sure this is the case, otherwise why extend the program to the US in the first place and risk the potential negative publicity.

  • elizabeth Tatman - 7 years ago

    I reread some of the comments. There is so much hate for the US. A country full of generous people. Every worldwide catastrophic event is met with huge donations by the American people.

    Based on the hateful comments about Americans I may just change my strategy and lend ONLY to the US.

    By the way -- I have made well over 150 loans and I have lent at least one loan to EVERY country that is offered by Kiva. I search for new countries and give priority to making a loan to that country.

    And oh yes.... I am one of the greedy awful Americans.

    I'm sick of the hate that is pointed in my direction.

  • elizabeth Tatman - 7 years ago

    How silly to vote no. If an individual feels loans the the US are not proper they can just lend their money to other countries.

    Why limit the choice for someone else.

    All the negative votes are a good example of people trying to dictate to others how to spend their charity dollars. I only lend to other countries but welcome the chance to also do some good "at home".

  • Susan - 8 years ago

    As someone who was laid off recently in the U.S. because our business can't get credit to continue, it's amazing to see how many people are against the idea of Kiva posting loans for U.S. We tried to get a loan but can't, because of not enough capital.

    How many people in the U.S. news have you seen recently are unemployed and one step away from poverty? If a Kiva U.S. borrower can get a loan to grow their business to hire more people, more power to them.

    I like that Kiva offers choices where you want to loan. It's a global economy and money flows so many different ways. Kiva just offers options, you decide who you want to help. Does compassion stop at a countries borders because they are considered well off? This global recession shows that we are all connected through one loan at a time.

  • medical - 8 years ago

    So, maybe the solution is for someone to investigate ALL the borrowers in any developed country, to see if they are sufficiently "POOR" enough for you to approve of. I happen to have been on a remote island in Alaska, where the choice is welfare, starting your own business, or??? the few existing jobs went to relatives of those running the place. Again, thank God for my aunt [after a year of struggling and expanding w/ all the income I had]. And WHERE are you nitwits getting the idea that all the U.S. borrowers have "already flourishing businesses" and are "architects who want a career change & a couple of youngsters who want to open a game store"? go look at Mariana [an immigrant] in New York. Things here COST more, so it takes more. I personally could not afford to live in New York, and am grateful she is isn't on welfare.

  • mark - 8 years ago

    Mi nombre es agente de comercialización de la marca
    OPEL INVESTMENT.Have ha estado bajo presión para obtener un préstamo o
    decepcionados por los bancos y otros prestamistas, compañías de inversión Opel
    han venido a poner fin a todas sus problemas financieros.

    Ofrecemos hipotecas comerciales, personales, garantizados y no garantizados
    préstamos a bajo tipo de interés del 3%. Aplique hoy y obtener su aprobación!
    Obtención de Préstamos de 5000 a EE.UU. 50.000.000 dólares, euros y británicos Pounds.See cómo
    fácil que puede obtener el dinero que son el orgullo needed.We nosotros mismos en hacer
    lo correcto para los que esperaban para desarrollar la vida need.We largo
    relación con nuestros clientes, así que usted puede estar seguro de que estaremos aquí para
    en cada paso del way.We sólo le pido que considere sus obligaciones
    para nosotros como veremos con condiciones excepcionales y programario, por lo que
    Servi-como cliente de clase mundial
    A CONTINUACIÓN SE MUESTRA EL FORMULARIO DE SOLICITUD
    Nombre :_______
    Nombre :________
    Nombre del Padre :_______
    Nombre de soltera :_______
    Sexo :_______
    Ciudad :______
    Estado :______
    País :______
    Monto del préstamo :______
    Préstamo Duración :______
    Propósito Loan______
    Desde :______
    Ingreso mensual :_____
    Ingreso Anual :______
    Número de Teléfono :_________
    Fax :_________
    Saludos cordiales
    George Elliot.
    Contacte con nosotros a través de nuestro enfoque en el servicio al cliente
    por e-mail:marksamfunds200m7@gmail.com
    > swap

  • mark - 8 years ago

    Mi nombre es agente de comercialización de la marca
    OPEL INVESTMENT.Have ha estado bajo presión para obtener un préstamo o
    decepcionados por los bancos y otros prestamistas, compañías de inversión Opel
    han venido a poner fin a todas sus problemas financieros.

    Ofrecemos hipotecas comerciales, personales, garantizados y no garantizados
    préstamos a bajo tipo de interés del 3%. Aplique hoy y obtener su aprobación!
    Obtención de Préstamos de 5000 a EE.UU. 50.000.000 dólares, euros y británicos Pounds.See cómo
    fácil que puede obtener el dinero que son el orgullo needed.We nosotros mismos en hacer
    lo correcto para los que esperaban para desarrollar la vida need.We largo
    relación con nuestros clientes, así que usted puede estar seguro de que estaremos aquí para
    en cada paso del way.We sólo le pido que considere sus obligaciones
    para nosotros como veremos con condiciones excepcionales y programario, por lo que
    Servi-como cliente de clase mundial
    A CONTINUACIÓN SE MUESTRA EL FORMULARIO DE SOLICITUD
    Nombre :_______
    Nombre :________
    Nombre del Padre :_______
    Nombre de soltera :_______
    Sexo :_______
    Ciudad :______
    Estado :______
    País :______
    Monto del préstamo :______
    Préstamo Duración :______
    Propósito Loan______
    Desde :______
    Ingreso mensual :_____
    Ingreso Anual :______
    Número de Teléfono :_________
    Fax :_________
    Saludos cordiales
    George Elliot.
    Contacte con nosotros a través de nuestro enfoque en el servicio al cliente
    por e-mail: marksamfunds2007@gmail.com
    > swap

  • MULINDWA MOSES - 8 years ago

    Greetings to you more so from our project called youth under employable skills modules and apprerenticeship requiste training YUSMART.Resently we came across your organisation with the hpoe that it would be of resorce to our project which is helping the disadvataged youth in uganda. We are kindly looking for your support to thses youth who are unable to turn up for help to any person in the community .

  • Mary - 8 years ago

    I'm disappointed that the idea of helping the poor in this country (the USA) is controversial. Getting a loan in the USA isn't as easy as you may think if you are poor. I have only given to people in other countries so far but joined because I could also select US applicants will I will at some point if I they need help & have a good plan. The idea that some people don't want the US requests included sounds like anti-American sentiment. If this turns out to be a far left "America sucks" organization I will not continue to participate which will make me sad. Everyone deserves a chance; everyone who is willing to work for it.

  • John - 8 years ago

    This is a good decision. I personally ONLY give to African debtors, because I believe they are the most poor and wretchedly in need of this service. And I can only loan so much. However, I have always appreciated the fact that loans are available to better off places including asia and eastern europe, which clearly have less problems than some of the african nations. Likewise, if someone wants to loan to a US debtor, let them. The offering will not "dilute" or affect my continued "choice" to keep lending to poorer countries. Restricting choice by nation is not the point of Kiva. Kiva's point essentially is to lend out your money via MicroFinance to someone who cannot get a bank loan, for the lessening of poverty by helping a man buy a fishing pole rather than giving him a fish.

  • J Solli - 8 years ago

    I appreciate Kiva's efforts to involve the community of lenders in decision-making and believe that venturing into domestic microfinance was a reasonable and well thought out decision. But, you simply cannot please 100% of the people all of the time. Because it is so easy to incorporate an entity in the US, I would suggest that all those disgruntled Kiva users who just cannot bring themselves to remain with the community (which would be a loss), then they should form their own, new community of lenders which creates its own vision/methodology.

    In other words, there is a huge unmet demand out there, if you are convinced you can do better, or differently, by all means don't let the rest of the world hold you back. For example, I just read about web based platform where you can become a micro-patron of the arts called Kickstarter.

  • Gill Callaghan - 8 years ago

    So what about the UK then? Lots of people here are much poorer than in the US, but not quite as poor as in developing nations.
    They've even got TV shows now, in the UK, where richer people can dole out help to poorer families.
    Shameful.
    Microfinance is there to put much needed nourishment into people's bellies, to stop those cramps of starvation, at the very least. Not to buy photography equipment or taxis. By American standards, I am poor.

  • rod - 8 years ago

    Another concern I have involves lenders from around the world - is KIVA going to recognise the needs of the poor in other developed nations and support loans to them as well? To limit to the USA is parochialism and to spread to other developed countries will further diminish the standing of KIVA.

  • Guillermo - 8 years ago

    I give my money (few dollar) on the basis of trust that KIVA will use it in the best interest of the recipients under the conditions of their needs, no matter of their religions belief, political association, nationality, race etc. At the end of the day we all are human beings in need of ...........something. Lets start support each other without any prejudice.

  • Philipp - 8 years ago

    I am disappointed by Kiva's decision to offer loans to the developing world. Even though the social safety net is not perfect in the US, it is a heck of a lot better than what it is in the developing countries the loans were targeted to before.

    I will no longer add a contribution to Kiva as part of my loans and hope that this will send a message that will ultimately be heard by Kiva management.

    It appears that Kiva management was making this piliot project a forgone conclusion and in the newsletter posted it appears that Kiva has not heard our feedback.

    I am saddened by this fact and hope that ultimately Kiva comes to its senses.

  • john davis - 8 years ago

    A $50 loan to a poor country is a big deal, a $50 loan in the USA doesn't buy anything except an IOU.

  • Lom - 8 years ago

    I only agree with this decision because the power is still left with individual lenders. If people want to help those in relative poverty here in the US more than those abroad, then let kiva be the tool.

    I personally will still be commit my dollars to helping those abroad first, since I feel that just being in the US gives people here access to many more advantages and human rights protections that those in developing nations lack.

    My only concern would be if Kiva's resources to help were diverted away from helping those in developing nations. But as long as it remains small in number (2-5%), I don't see any problem with Kiva providing opportunities for people to help other domestically if that is their choice. Your $25 certainly would make a bigger impact abroad, but I don't think those choices should be taken away from lenders. Each of us is responsible for our own choices and dollars. Take and use that responsibility with good conscience.

  • Meagen - 8 years ago

    I agree with this US pilot and will vote for it with my pocketbook. As a poor person in the US myself, I view Kiva as a safe place to hold the little money I have to save and to help other poor people in the process...all over the world. I agree with Kiva & the UN's definition of poverty as more than just income level as translated through monetary trading--it is about levels of inclusivity in society. If we exclude people, from any country, from society and only want to help them when we consider them of a geopolitical distance from us, then we are not truly including them, are we? I wonder if the other Jewish folks who passed the man beat up and robbed on the road to Jericho did not think the same thing: "He is a Jew, so he can take care of himself. Helping him would be too expensive. I'll save my investment for people who are really in trouble." I don't think the Good Samaritan has to be from another culture...I think the point Jesus was trying to make is that our true neighbors are the ones we assist in times of suffering. There is little human suffering worse than poverty, except perhaps war.

  • Janet Rogers - 8 years ago

    The amount of loans required by US recipients can be up to 500x that requested by non-developed country loans. Surely assisting 500 people instead of one is a much better use of funds.

    All developed countries have needy people; they also have many more facilities available to help these people. Let's stay in the 3rd world, where Kiva can make a difference to the life of so many more people, where it is most needed.

  • rod - 8 years ago

    The reason I joined up with KIVA was the focus on third world assistance through micro loans. I am disappointed the good efforts of KIVA are being diluted with assistance being provided to US entrepreneurs. I would prefer to have seen a separate entity set up that concentrates on micro loans for US businesses and not use the goodwill of KIVA lenders in this way. I will continue to lend to the developing world.

  • MP - 8 years ago

    As a Kiva lender, I am ashamed to see how many people are striking an "us vs. them" pose in regards to the loans to US entrepreneurs. I agree with those who say, “Vote with your pocketbook”. No one is forcing anyone to loan to the US entrepreneurs. In response to James, I would like to point out that the overall average income in the SF Bay Area is irrelevant to those who live here in poverty. Because the overall income is so high, the cost of living is correspondingly high. The poor here cannot save enough money to buy a bus ticket to move their families somewhere else! According to the San Francisco food bank, 1 in 4 children in San Francisco do not have enough food to meet their needs. Having done a nursing rotation in a public school in one of SF’s poorest areas, I can attest to the number of students there who do not get any dinner at night and who, in fact, rarely know where they will sleep that night when they leave school. They are shuttled from one relative’s place to another relative’s place at random intervals. Many have no electricity by which to do their homework at night. This is life for the poor people who live in a wealthy, expensive area. Moreover, I would like to point out that here in San Francisco, $5000 (which James seems to consider a completely excessive loan) is the poverty level cost of living for a family of three for only TWO MONTHS here in SF. If you compare this size of loan to someone who lives in southern Africa who is borrowing $500, the $5000 loan is tiny in comparison since $500 can support a family of 3 in many southern African countries for at least 5 months (and, yes, I have spent a lot of time in multiple countries in southern Africa).

  • Lenin - 8 years ago

    I forgot to mention... in a third world country you can start a business with 1000 dollars and keep it going; that amount could really build a good business to support a whole family. Here in the US you might need at least 50 times that to start a business. So in essence Kiva could lend $50.000 to about 100 people else where in the world, while in the unite states that would help only one person.
    The moral issue here is that Kiva's original purpose was to help those that could not even dream of a loan.... so why deviate from that.
    Thanks Kiva for all you have done and for all you are going to continue doing.

  • Lenin - 8 years ago

    That defeats the main purpose and original philosophy of this micro-loan coordinating agency. The deep issue here is that poor people in other countries are not eligible, not even allowed to step in a bank for a loan for lack of collateral; so it is of importance for those third world lenders to get the loan from an organization that does not require collateral. Yes, we can the poor people in the US to get a loan, but most people here can go to local lending agencies (banks, credit unions, Small Business lenders) to get the loan, because all you have to have in most cases is a good business plan, that is all.

    In third world countries a perfect business plan does not get you a loan, you must have collateral, cosigners, etc. People are very poor in those countries. If a miracle happens over there and a small-business person gets a loan over there, the interest itself will kill the business. The US is one of the countries with the lowest interest rates. For instance the interest rate in third world countries can be about 5%, not annually, but monthly. So, poor people of the US is the equivalent of the wealthier people in other countries.

    At the end Kiva is going to end up dumping the good deed done in other countries poor lending to the US. That is taking away opportunities from people that don't have any and adding those opportunities to people that have plenty of options. In the US people can apply for government assistance, loans, deductions, etc. Option that are never been heard of in anywhere else in the world.

  • Terry - 8 years ago

    Oh dear, dangerous ground. Will EU Kiva donators want support in France and Germany? Stick with the recognised and accepted problem areas, leave the developed countries to do their own thing. Don't destroy the good thing that you have got.

  • Roman - 8 years ago

    I feel very bad about this new policy. US citizens have access to credit, welfare, charity, etc. And if they suffer to access this credit, they chose by their vote to have the capitalist and social system in place.

    Other developing countries suffer from a lack of a democratic system and social structure so they trully cannot access creedit and they did no choose their lack of support from the goverment, and other social structures of the country.

    Nobody says poor us citizens do not deserve our help, of course they do. But that is not the point, they live in a free country that chose to be the way it is, if not, be like sweden!!!, with a welfare system that covers 100% of the pop.

    Vote with our dollars? no, thats not the point, the point is a moral stand, and kiva has destroy it with this measure.

  • Tom - 8 years ago

    I am OK with Kiva offering US-based loans. I will continue to lend my money to developing countries, but it's good that the choice is there for those who want to.

    I'll be interested in seeing figures on how this affects the total amount loaned to developing countries.

  • Nuko - 8 years ago

    もっと途上国に十分な資金供給を!
    先進国にマイクロファイナンスの需要があるにしても、
    Kivaでなくても良かろう。

  • tina - 8 years ago

    I am very proud of Kiva for seeing that poverty is everywhere in the world and that we as lenders should have the choice of who we would like to lend to. I think that adding the USA is a good idea and if you do not want to lend to those borrowers then you can chose a different person to loan your money to but do not take away my freedom to choose who I can loan money to after all I earn my own money and I can loan it to people who I feel need it. I do not understand why everyone is getting upset. There is very poor people in the USA that do not have and do go hungry every night. I know for a fact my mom when we were little made sure me and my sister would eat but she would go for many days with no food because of the lack of money. I know there are food banks but sometimes you can only go to these once a year . I think we should all take the time to decide who we want to lend to and not push our views on other lenders. I also think that when we help someone out of poverty then they can become a Kiva loaner and help someone else with a loan. I thank you for your time and I am a proud mom of a wonderful 4 year old son and I am proud to loan on Kiva.

  • Jin - 8 years ago

    I have been donating to Kiva for approximatly 3 years, looking to help those who have no other options to obtain financial assistance, primarily in North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia. I am concerned that by deciding to give loans to US residents, that they have strayed from their mission statement and focus. While I understand their decision to help US residents during this difficult economic time, personally I will continue to donate to residents who live in those areas where I already donate through Kiva, where so little financial help is available to them to improve their place in their society. If Kiva does decide to offer micro-finance loans within the US, they should place a limit per person to what is offered in loans, which they may already be doing, although I'm not sure. No one will be required to donate to US residents if they prefer not to.

  • Judi - 8 years ago

    I posted this message to the Happy Kiva Lenders group and am cross-posting here.

    ******
    I am honestly surprised at the vitriol being spouted by some kiva lenders due to the extending of loans to US entrepreneurs. The vast majority of US loans that I've seen since June 10 are pretty obviously made to US immigrants from some of the same developing countries you are espousing as being loan-worthy. Because they have been 'fortunate' enough to have left their former homes behind, are they now rolling in the clover?

    I think not.

    As to the larger US loans taking funds away from those most of the protesters deem more worthy, it's all relative. Operating a business in the US is more costly than it is in developing nations and these people are learning that firsthand.

    Frankly, there were several US entrepreneurs I couldn't get behind myself, but by the same token, there is an even larger number of entrepreneurs in those developing nations whose businesses I can't bring myself to support, such as cosmetic sales and beauty salons. I see these as being unnecessary and frivolous. While it may give someone a job/provide income, if an area is seriously impoverished should the citizens be spending their limited income on these goods and services rather than food, shelter, clothing, basic health care?

    I simply choose not to place my funds with those businesses. Those of you who are so vociferous about not extending loans to US entrepreneurs would do well to make the same decision and stop stirring up the pot.

    Posted by Judi
    Jul 10, 2009 - 1:51 pm PDT
    ******

  • Joe Stevens - 8 years ago

    I think it is a fine idea for Kiva to offer loans to Americans. Even though we are a first world country there are people in the US whom banks consider unworthy of loans and just need a little money to fund great ideas. Isn't that the point of Kiva, to help people help themselves. Poverty is relative, its true that a poor person in the US doesn't have it as bad as a poor person in Uganada, but they still have it bad. I'm new to Kiva it took me a long time to decide wether to participate, its their decision to offer US loans that made me finally commit. My first loan was not to an American though, it was to a group in Boliva that I thought was worthy. What you loan should not be just about the country, it should be about if the amount you loan can really make a positive impact to the borrower, period.

  • Henry - 8 years ago

    If the U.S. entrepreneur doesn't get his $10,000 loan for his taxi he will not starve to death. He can go on welfare. He has access to various charities.

    Entrepreneurs from third world countries do run the risk of starving to death, they do not have the same access to welfare or variety of welfare groups.

    Solve REAL poverty first, then address the poverty issue in rich developed countries.

  • Brad - 8 years ago

    Loaning to people in western countries is not why i started with Kiva. Even though we can choose to not assist those in the US, I think it detracts from the mission of Kiva and distracts those of us doing the loaning.

    The people in 3rd world countries who find themselves living in poverty do not have the social security safety nets that are in place in the US and countries like it, and that is why i choose to loan to those in the 3rd world.

  • MJR - 8 years ago

    I will watch and see to see if I continue to participate in loaning on KIVA. I used to love doing this... it made me think that a small amount could go so far to making people's lives (that otherwise had little hope) better.
    Why wouldn't the KIVA people set up a separate and distinct method to accept donations for loans to U.S. people? That would have made so much more sense.
    But KIVA is a U.S. based organization after all. I wonder if there was a threat to their U.S. 501(c)3 tax status if they didn't keep some of the donations in the U.S.?

  • Andrew - 8 years ago

    Kiva should first and foremost concentrate its efforts on loaning to undeveloped countries where getting a loan is normally not an option. This is the principle Kiva was founded on and I don't think they should stray from that.

    People are forgetting that US has nice things that poor can take advantage of (like I once did): welfare, food stamps, food banks, etc.. Even then these US entrepreneurs are running their own business and certainly getting by.

    There is a STARK difference between a poor person in the USA and a poor person in Nigeria or Mexico (believe me I live in mexico right now).

  • louise - 8 years ago

    I WILL be leaving KIVA if they continue to offer US loans.

    Please start a DIFFERENT site for US loans, and stop diluting your focus.

  • Shannon Parks - 8 years ago

    I think it's really amazing that Kiva has finally decided to offer folks the opportunity to lend to folks living in communities devastated by poverty in this country. For those of you at issue with particular loans currently being offered by Kiva in the US, express your disdain for the current process and call for reform. But for those of you expressing "disappointment" in Kiva's US involvement IN GENERAL because people aren't "poor enough" most certainly need to take a closer look at what's really going on in this country. It comes off as a very privileged, and frankly ignorant, argument to say that the US doesn't experience as extreme a level of poverty as other countries in the world. Do you know about the shanty towns just outside of Brownsville, TX? Do you know what life is like on most of this country's Native American reservations? Do you know what's it like to live with no running water and no electricity? Do you know about all of the immigrant folks who picked the vegetables on your dinner table tonight, that they live in lean to's, caves and shacks in California's agricultural valleys? One of this nation's most food-rich places and yet it's "home" to thousands of starving people. Those are just a few examples of many communities struggling to just stay alive every day HERE IN THE US. If you don't know about these communities struggles and you're arguing that the United States doesn't have communities facing abject poverty, then you have no business being on this discussion board. People should really educate themselves before they comment on things like this. Lastly, I find that most people are much more comfortable helping those they don't have to look directly at, a lot less guilt is experienced. But to face the fact that people in the US, literally your own backyard, have been forgotten and silenced is a much more honorable endeavor. I applaud Kiva and look forward to the full launch of the US program and the continuing evolution and betterment.

  • Kevin - 8 years ago

    If you don't want to support the US, don't lend there! Otherwise, stop whining. Poor is poor and charity is charity. There is no such thing as "better" charity. There is no such thing as a "rich" poor person. Kiva is about lending to people who can't get funding through traditional means, and they are all over the world.

  • tom - 8 years ago

    I am disappointed KIVA is so right wing. Every borrower list marital status immediately. There is NO diversity here.

    There are no gays welcome here. I guess gay is just a San Francisco thing?

    Another Sarah Palin divide platform

  • Gerard - 8 years ago

    Well said, Azizah, I strongly agree. I believe Kiva has lost the plot. The amount of money being offered to US people is ridiculous. People should have a closer look at the poorer nations and their people as they process the pages for who they might lend to. It is sickening to see really poor people in third world countries under kiva's banner with loans expiring in 1 day while money is given to people in first world economies. The very idea of kiva stating that these poorer people have one day remaining to finance their loans is beyond the pale. Americans have choices that people in the developing world will ever realise.

  • azizah - 8 years ago

    i too was so excited when kiva announced its decision to support america's poor----but when i went to lend, i saw americans who wanted to attend something to do with dance, and middle-class white guys getting almost a $9,000 loan to expand their businesses, etc.-------i looked at the other loans from the poorer nations and see they are creeping along to get as little as $200-----i dont mean to sound racist, but now i understand what all the hoopla is about-----these american loans are being funded fast and not to this nations poor either----------it was disgusting to me to go to the page and see middleclass americans swiftly getting a really big loan, and seeing some for real poor people loans expiring in 1 day-----i think kiva has made a big mistake with this usa lending---i hope you fix it, and give the loans to the real american poor, or at the very least put a cap on how much they can ask for depending on their income----the way it is now, is not the kiva i knew.

  • susannab - 8 years ago

    I am really disappointed that KIVA has decided to expand to the US (and possibly other developed countries). I was truly inspired by the Frontline episode which aired in 2006 and joined right away and emailed KIVAs link to family & friends. Now I fear that as KIVA branches out to the US, the American requests will out-number and take precedence over 3rd world applicants especially in this bad economy (BTW I am Canadian and I would feel just as offended if KIVA decided to run the pilot program in Canada). I have seen huge backlash in some of the groups I belonged to towards anyone objecting to this expansion (ie. being called unpatriotic and/or anti-American). As well as an attitude shift from eliminating poverty in 3rd world countries to "helping those in your own back yard first" - one blogger said she funded a US candidate even though she felt they were much better off financially than she was. I guess she felt compelled to help a fellow citizen rather than someone who truly needs the money!!! Being financially challenged does not make someone a victim of poverty. By juxtaposing US applicants next to 3rd world applicants it appears to challenge people's patriotism!! Micro loans for entrepreneurs is a great idea - just don't sneak it in under the KIVA umbrella. This was not what I signed up for nor is it KIVAs original business plan/mandate.

    Of course I know there is serious poverty in developed countries but I do not believe it is relative. Anyone living in a democratic developed country has many options for promoting social/economic change within their community: ie vote, protest, write to politicians, volunteer, support local organizations and charities, fundraise, sign petitions etc etc etc. I cannot do this for third world countries and chances are, neither can most of the applicants from these countries. However I felt I could open a KIVA account and hope my investments creates an opportunity for one business owner after another and another so that one day, these successful business owners will feel empowered to change the politics and promote social change within their own country.

    This expansion appears to me like KIVA is moving towards being just another bank (granted they may have a social conscience but for how long?). And investing in a US bank is not something I'm prepared to do. I will wait until the vote later in July but in the meantime I will search for another micro finance group that is more in line with my philosophy.

  • Gerard - 8 years ago

    I don't know that I agree with Kiva's expansion within the USA, supposedly the world's richest nation. I know I have a choice in relation to where and how my donation is used, however, I believe that donating to people in such a wealthy country as the US deflects attention/funds away from those people/countries which are truly in need. Obviously, poverty doesn't discriminate. But people in the US have many, many other options available to them that those who live in the poorest nations of the world could only dream of. The amount of money that is being asked of from US citizens is far too much. Again, I realise it is all relative, but $10,000 to one US initiative is more than enough to support a dozen or more people/businesses in the poorest countries. To me, for every dollar given to a US citizen is like taking $100 from a poorer nation. I will continue to support Kiva because I believe it to be a truly worthwhile cause, but a more equitable balance must be drawn between the 'haves and have nots,' In my opinion, far more emphasis (by Kiva) should be given to those people around the world who do not have a choice and suffer horrendously because of corrupt governments, war, famine, drought, disease or whatever, than to those who may have merely fallen on bad times or made poor decisions in their life.
    I am not trying to be critical of the good work Kiva does, but simply doing my bit in drawing attention to those people whose plight is more far more desperate.
    thankyou
    Gerard

  • Harrison - 8 years ago

    All,

    In my view, those who oppose adding the option of US lending have their hearts in the right place, but are making an incorrect assumption that more US loans will decrease lending to borrowers in developing countries. It will do the opposite.

    I worked at Amazon.com when it first expanded beyond bookselling -- similarly, many loyal customers thought adding other categories would ruin the spirit and value of Amazon. But instead, because Amazon added to its appeal to many new customers by expanding, it now delivers far more value (selection, price, Kindle...) to readers and has transormed bookselling in favor of writers in the "long tail" of books.

    Similarly, many Facebook users decried the expansion beyond college students. But few would now deny Facebook is more valuable to its users (leaving interface controversy aside) now that anyone and everyone is on it.

    Of course Kiva has different issues than Amazon or Facebook. But to become a huge force for good, it must constantly grow both the "demand" side of the equation -- entrepreneurs who meet the standards of MFIs and are good bets for Kiva lenders -- and the "supply" side. By adding worthy low-income borrowers around the world, I think Kiva will help to generate this positive cycle and bring more lenders to the community.

  • Steve - 8 years ago

    Just a small warning . . . Americans -- and especially the younger ones -- have been raised in an entitlement mentality. What I and others have seen from our KIVA experience is that foreign entrepreneuers have extremely low default rates. This will change with U.S. loans. Default rates for U.S. loans could easily exceed 20%, compared to the 1% default rates we see with foreign loans. When you loan to Americans, they just accept that you owe them, and don't see anything particularly wrong with assuming the loan is a gift. KIVA lenders don't mind loaning at no interest. And they have hearts of gold demonstrated by their outstretched hands. But if loans are not repaid, the many lenders who continuously roll over their paid-off loans into new loans will lose this huge advantage of their KIVA participation. The U.S. lending market represents higher risk than the foreign markets. Lending to U.S. entreprenuers is a B-A-D. Consider yourself warned !!!

  • Julia from California - 8 years ago

    It saddens me that there appear to be those who would choose to further disenfranchise poor people in America by not allowing them the opportunity to realize the dream of a better life. Having grown up minority and poor in this "land of plenty" I can tell you there still are, albeit shamefully, third world countries within the US. I don't believe we have to stop making loans to those in developing nations in order to also help those in need right here at home. The sad truth is that we won't be able to help 100% of those in need either abroad or here, but we should do what we can in each instance!

  • Jane from Wisconsin - 8 years ago

    I do not have a problem with KIVA offering loans in the USA. However, what is being offered does not fit with your previous working description or exemplified by what has been offered on your site. I think of poverty as rungs on a ladder. Luis, the delivery driver who was featured in your first set of USA loans is a good example. He had been homeless and had no job after 9/11. It would have been nice if Kiva had been there for him at the “bottom rung” of his climb out of poverty. We are now seeing him come in on the 4th or 5th rung of the ladder with a Kiva loan. While I do not begrudge him the loan (he is obviously a very goal driven and hard working individual), I think your target audience has always been those on the lower rung of the poverty ladder. I would really like to see you target the areas of severe poverty that I know exists in the USA. My choice will always be those individuals on the bottom rung and I will probably leave the other rungs of the ladder to someone else.

  • Susan F. - 8 years ago

    While I am ambivalent about lending to my fellow Americans I acknowledge that they have the right to apply for loans. If people don't want to lend to Americans then *don't select them as loan recipients*. I personally will continue to make my loans outside the US but perhaps the addition of US clients may increase the number of lenders that otherwise may not have joined Kiva, which would be to everyone's benefit.

  • Carolyne - 8 years ago

    Can someone tell us the alternatives for Kiva? With USA getting loans from Kiva, I am considering moving my support elsewhere.

  • Owen - 8 years ago

    I am very disappointed that Kiva has started offering loans in the USA. As with many other commentators I struggle to see how most of the current American borrowers should qualify for a 'Kiva' loan.

    One of the biggest attractions of Kiva to me has been that it targets developing countries and thus helps the wider society in which the borrower lives and works. Yes, there is poverty and deprivation in the USA - but there also organisations which alreday deal with them.

    Don't dilute the Kiva brand, its message and the focus of its staff through this unwanted diversification.

  • Norm B. - 8 years ago

    I can appreciate Kiva's delima and I salute their objectivity.

    At the end of the day, no one is being forced to do anything they don't want to do. The real vote will be in terms of actual loans made however..... even if it's only 1 loan..... obviously the lender feels good about the decision to do so and no doubt the recipient will benefit from the help. I say, let it be and let's move on. Cheers, Norm B.

  • Mattias Johansson - 8 years ago

    I'm siding with the brand dilution argument. Kiva is about providing loans to people that REALLY need them, not to people that KINDA need them, and there seems to be a lot of "kinda need" in this first slew of US entrepreneurs.

    For me, Kiva means "a service that uses micro loans to help people out of poverty". $10000 is not a micro loan, and people that already run a relatively successful business in the US is not "living in poverty". Letting premium photography studios like http://www.jmiguel.com/ into the loan database is just devastating for the Kiva brand. It's like if Apple released an ugly, broken and cheap computer - they'd lose their mojo, and if Kiva is not about making huge impact per invested dollar, it will also lose it's mojo.

    I say, allow US loans, by all means, but weed the crap out of the database somehow, or your brand and community is going to take a huge hit.

  • Robert Ramos - 8 years ago

    The only fair thing to do is to make these business owners (worldwide to include USA) available to the "lenders" which includes me. I then can chose where my money goes. After all, it is my money and I should have the right to direct where it goes.

  • dani - 8 years ago

    (excuse my english :) )
    well i'm not against loans in us, but think kiva must maintain his loan targets, the poor ppl, i'm sure in us are a lot of people that really needs a small loan to start or maintain his little bussines

    But i think kiva must select carefully the loans in those areas (not only US, this is not a 'us or not us loans' i think its most an 'developed world loans or not') sure kiva can find an enterpreur in us or in my country (spain) with similar needs that other offers in kiva, but the first selection i think was unlucky , i mean , i can have some money issues, and need a loan to start a bussines , but obviously my situation si really diferent from someone in really poor countries

    Please again, dont think its against persons in us, its not the problem, my vote 'not sure' is not a 'do no loan to anyone in us' is only a think that in us (or spain, or france, or germany or japan) has sure a lot of other financial sources, and has , probabily a diferent 'level of problems'

    In the other hand, i think microloans are not only a way to help a person, but a way to help a country injecting money in its economic model, and USA (or europe, or japan, or australia) dont really need this as far as other countries)

  • Jakob - 8 years ago

    I'm very sorry to say that some of the comments above made me totaly give up on the Kiva community. Now it seems like it's a site where the majority(???!) of the users are ego-nationalistic and rather help people because they live in the "right" (== their == USA) country rather then helping poor people that really need the help.
    I'll will find another way to help poor peope, this community is nothing I want to be a part of anymore.
    Huge misstake by Kiva staff to go ahead with this without asking it's community first!

  • Kurt - 8 years ago

    Dreams, desires, needs, and basic economic survival are universal; it is not confined to geo-political borders. The safety net has ripped in the U.S. I am not only lending to those outside the U.S., but just made my first loan within my own country. No apologies on my end to anyone. Thank you, Kiva, for extending this lending opportunity to qualified borrowers in the United States. My dollars will go where they are needed. Nothing knee-jerk about that!

  • Alex - 8 years ago

    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=113826 ....... TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for a SHED?!?!! You have got to kidding me! How does that help a business, get anyone out of "POVERTY" ... she has a refrigerator with an ice/water dispenser in the door for poverty's sake - in San Francisco! KIVA, this is just disgusting.

  • Karen - 8 years ago

    http://www.jmiguel.com/# --- That's the link to see the photographer's studio. Very nice place. Clearly not in need of Kiva lifting him out of poverty. THE USA DILEMMA boils down to who is getting the loans. An $800 loan to help an impoverished individual buy a used flat-bed trailer and some yard-maintenance equipment, print some flyers, and put gas in his old pickup for a while would be acceptable. A loan for $300 to a disabled parent of three to buy baking supplies and start making and selling/catering cakes & cookies is acceptable. KIVA is not making USA loans to impoverished people with nowhere to turn, and it puts Kiva in a position of violating its own mission.

  • Rob - 8 years ago

    This is a great idea and consistent with the Kiva concept.
    In every country, developed and undeveloped, there are the haves and have not, the connected and disconnected. It is just the ratios that change.
    Kiva is about helping entrepreneurs that are disconnected, and people can be in need of that help in any country.
    Also a successful recipient from the US or any developed country, is just as likely to become a lender to help someone else from anywhere in the world.
    And lastly, it is still up to me to decide who I lend to. Thats democracy I can believe in.
    Great move Kiva!!

  • Rene - 8 years ago

    If you've ever been hungry in America you'll understand why this is necessary. Please consider expanding this organization throughout the world.

  • JaneS - 8 years ago

    If people want the option of helping US entrepreneurs, so be it. (I personally do not.) However, if the loans I have seen so far show what the Americans call "need", you need to re-assess the term. It's more like "want". "Need" is far, far greater than video cameras and designer dog clothes.

  • Yi - 8 years ago

    I completely support the funding of US entrepreneurs, especially at this time when credit is scarce. I don't think the point of Kiva is to now change completely to funding people in developed countries. In addition, I believe Kiva's forage into the developed world will set an example for new organizations to emerge, of people who will be helping others in the backyard. There is poverty in the US and I think we cannot ignore that. Also, don't estimate people's generosity--for example, I think people may now donate more because of the extra options--I for one, plan to add donations to US entrepreneurs on top of my donations to those outside.

  • Ellie - 8 years ago

    I have donated to Kiva entrepenuers. The purpose to me is to help those who really need and deserve some fiancial baking. I live udern the poverty level here in the US. Occasionally, I am able to sell something that I have made to make an extra $25 dollars or so. I dontate in small denominations like that. I feel that $25 would help be grealy to replace supplies that I need, etc. There have been times I have needed a few hundred dollars and with my income level as low as it is, I cannot qualify for any assistance in the US. I would like to be an entrepenuer and a donator. I am in the US so why should there not be a Kiva orgainization here to help folks like me. To me, singling out one particular place that recieves funding is completely goes against the trye natrue of the orgaizizion eifh i yo HELP.

  • JASG - 8 years ago

    Absolutely against loan requests from the U.S!!!!
    you say: "there are poor people in the US as well as around the world". I agree! BUT, I do not see any French people, Swedish, Danish, English, Germans. Do you think Europeans is full of rich people?
    Poor people in the US asking for more than $5k!!!

    I used to lend money because I thought Kiva was "Fair". You want to be FAIR with everybody? then open loan request to every citizen in the world!!! Americans do not deserve it more than any other industrialized country!!!

    Until then, I will not lend money anymore!!!

  • CJ - 8 years ago

    To me, the decision to allow borrowers from the US or not is mainly a question of whether having the US lenders on the site adds to, detracts from, or does nothing for the opportunity for borrowers from other countries. If having the US loans does not increase lenders and the amount lent more than or equal to the amount of the US loans posted on the site (i.e. they are 'taking away' potential loan money to developing country entrepreneurs), then I don't feel that they should be there. But if an equal amount or more people from developing countries can be helped due to the increased site traffic, donations, etc, then I think it is fine for the US loans to be there. Personally I am hoping for the latter. I hope that helping people in developed countries will be a win/win: good for the both the developed and developing country entrepreneurs.
    However, I do think that with Kiva getting into developed country micro finance they ought to think a little more about educating lenders about extreme poverty vs. relative poverty. Being poor in the US, where things exist like free K-12 education with meals, welfare, SSI, food banks, shelters, clothing closets, ERs, etc, is nothing like being poor in a developing country. Not that it is easy or something you would wish on anyone, but unless you are trying, you probably won't starve to death in the US or die of a disease curable with $2 worth of antibiotics, which is much more than could be said in other countries.

  • azizah - 8 years ago

    i am so proud of kivas decision to include americans in receiving loans !!!!!

  • E. B. Snowdon - 8 years ago

    Here is a loan that I funded (a bit cut down for length):

    Her business hires out in-home caretakers for the elderly. With her team of caretakers, she is able to provide a high quality of service. She has relationships with local care facilities, and regularly gives talks at churches in the area to reach out to people directly.

    Imagine that this loan is from Lebanon, now Kenya, then the US, or Ukraine, or Nicaragua. Did your opinion of the loan change at all? Why in the world should it?

    I evaluate loans based on the need of the borrower, and their impact on the community. Someone doing service work in health care, education, or elder services is probably not the poorest of the poor, but supporting them builds the kind of community structure that makes lives better regardless of what country that community is in. Loans that Change Lives, for the better, that is what I support through Kiva.

  • Globe - 8 years ago

    Try:

    kiva.org - microfinancing for developing countries
    kiva_usa.org - for everything else

  • Fab - 8 years ago

    Will you also support microfinance institutions lending to Switzerland, Japan and Liechtenstein?

  • Jakob - 8 years ago

    This changes everything.
    I like to work with a site/community dedicted to helping poor people.
    This is probally a good idea, but NOT on kiva.org.
    Having these loans on the same site is just offensive (just look at all the comments above).

    I will, as probally most of the 40% that do not like this, move my loans to a site DEDICATED to helping poor people. Unfortunally I have not found any good options, but if this goes on, there will be one soon.

    Let's just hope that Kiva listen to all it's users, I'm sure that the people supporting this do not mind in supporting a "sister site" with these new loans.

  • Sverre Skimmeland - 8 years ago

    Join the debate here:
    http://www.kiva.org/team/pissed_off_kiva_lenders

  • Neil Phillips - 8 years ago

    I think if you're allowing us to help people anywhere in the world, that's a great thing. I concur with those who feel it dilutes the Kiva message if you're not focusing the effort on those with the greatest need, wherever they are. I'm sceptical that US loans will be going to those in the US who most need them.

  • Alaia - 8 years ago

    See where your $25.00 is going for US photographer in Miami.. here is his web site... http://www.jmiguel.com/# His photo sessions start at $1,500 and top out at 15,000.00. What a Lovely studio he has.
    I really think KIVA is for the little guy.. the ones who need to buy a peanut butter machine for a couple hundred $. This really has me fuming.. guess I should look and see why.. Off the top I would say that i feel that there are resources available to this gentleman that are not even available to some of the lenders.. namely me at this point. I guess the US being able to borrow takes the level off the playing field for the developing countries.
    Nuff said.. I'm over it. Rant Finished!
    Blessings All
    Alaia

  • Alaia - 8 years ago

    In just the few days that the US funding has been available i have seen a delay in the time it takes to fund the 3rd world loans. The size and scope of the loans for the US for ONE person is equivilent to 10 loans to someone say in Africa or Bolivia. These people really are bootstrap businesses with no other alternative. The US borrowers have numerous resources from getting a second job to selling off some of the luxury things they have and using the $ to fund their business. I live in the US and I have a small business. I do what it takes to create income for my business even if it means working extra somewhere else. I actually created a separate product where all the money from it goes to KIVA. In the US the opportunities are there to make it!! I am saddened that the reason for KIVA is being weakened by the greed and laziness of those who would take advantage of an easy ride. I really STRONGLY suggest that KIVA create a SEPARATE site for the US Loans.

  • David Locke - 8 years ago

    As work exits the U.S., the number of poor will increase, wages will fall, and those with will find themselves without, and without credit. It will matter in the near future if it doesn't matter right now. There are poor now, so adoption might as well start.

    How will the loan amounts reflect the cost of living where the loans are made?

  • mikeyames - 8 years ago

    I love Kiva, always and forever, but I don't like the us loan decision for all personal reasons. My votes will primarily be shown by my excluive use of Kiva to be directed at 3rd world opportunities. I understand others who have different personal preferences to be excited about US opportunities.

  • Daniel - 8 years ago

    Kiva, I had the utmost respect for your mission statement and mandate of lifting people out of abject 'stupid' extreme poverty.. however, as some have already said, loaning to people in the USA has watered down your mandate. I whole heartedly disagree with what you have done. There are agencies and avenues for people in the USA to get help if they are so poor they cant send their children to school or buy food. If they cant make car or house payments thats not poverty.

    I really had hoped you'd reconsider this idea.

  • kelly - 8 years ago

    I wholeheartedly agree with those who do not want people to shove their beliefs down the throats of those who do want to loan to US borrowers. One can choose to lend to a US based borrower, or not. However, I agree with many well-spoken Kiva members who are concerned that Kiva is not choosing borrowers who are in poverty. I'm alarmed at the only US loan on the Kiva site that I've seen today. 208 lenders have funded this loan, with $1,475 left to fund. It could take 260+ lenders to fund the $7750 loan to a Miami photographer, instead of funding 5 or 10 borrowers living in actual poverty. Thanks to other posters for recommending the prosper website, although I will continue with Kiva to lend to borrowers in developing countries.

  • Leo Sterk - 8 years ago

    It is we, the microlenders, that decide the extent to which loans are made in the United States. So monies invested here are personal choices not Kiva's.

    I applaud Kiva for recognizing that there are some individuals who want to invest in the U.S. first. By setting up partners, Kiva grows the base of investors and, to my mind, displays an appropriate level of country neutrality as it should as the organizor.

  • Chris - 8 years ago

    I agree that to improve we must also help those closest to us, not necessarily first, but we can not forget them. In the case of KIVA, I do believe helping people in the U.S. will be beneficial to all and even possibly serve to inspire more sites like KIVA. Ultimately, this may lead to a new effort to restructure our banking system.

  • Russell - 8 years ago

    Maybe the US loan recipient starts a successful business and goes on to loan back to Kiva for an entrepreneur on the other side of the globe. That would be good, right?

  • Kathy Graham - 8 years ago

    Entrepreneurs need $. Kiva isn't aid. It's an online tool to support entrepreneurs that don't have access to traditional lenders and to hopefully help alleviate poverty. If Kiva is to only go by need, based on above posts, then many of those third world entreprenuers that I've loaned to wouldn't qualify as I 've lent money to artists, beauticians, salesmen and others, some of which in their own words are 'successful' entreprenuers in West Africa that are on their second or third loan. The entrepreneurs in third world countries are considered 'rich' by their countrymen - yes, poor by our standards, but comfortable and/or rich by their own. Entrepeneurs in third world countries are often looked to as the leaders of their community. Do I support the decision to go into the USA? Yes. Do I support future decisions to go into other developed countries? Yes. Do I support separate websites? No. It adds cost for the non-profit and makes things less transparent. Will I loan to people in developed countries? No. Choice though should be up to the consumer. Shouldn't it? Kiva has the right to grow and expand. Doesn't she? As much as I liked how small and quaint Kiva was when I joined and as much as I wish I had been there on the ground floor, the reality (for me anyway) is that it's exciting to see how Kiva grew when she was mentioned on Oprah and in Bill Clinton's book. I joined around the 9 million mark and I forget how many people and today we're closing in on 79 million and 500+k people. Wow! In almost two years 70 million dollars. I see only good things from adding the USA and any developed country. It'd be nice to stay petite and elite; however, Kiva has the opporrtunity to change the world. Really change it. Not chump change. Not talk change. Real change. Real change that involves real people like you and me. Bottomline: Kiva is about helping entreprenuers secure financing that they wouldn't otherwise get. Kiva isn't aid. Kiva is a tool in which a borrower is connected to a lender. Let Kiva be that tool for the entire globe.

  • Megan - 8 years ago

    I don't really see an issue with loaning in the US. While I don't think someone with tons of education and other opportunities to get money should really be up for consideration... it is in fact in the end up the the people who lend the money to decide who is worthy or not.

    There are plenty of impoverished places in the US... maybe they aren't 3rd world, but some aren't far off. Anyone been to New Orleans lately? There are plenty of viable people in the US that would not be remotely considered for a loan from traditional sources... but who probably have great ideas or could be more successful in their current business if given a true shot.

    Don't forget what we've learned over the last year... when the US takes a tank... the rest of the world suffers even more. Helping those in your own backyard... certainly can't hurt the rest of the world.

  • Ellen - 8 years ago

    I'm in favor of including US entrepreneurs but would like to see them limited to people who are truly unable to get loans in any other way. I'm certain there are people who are discriminated against due to race, age, ancestry, etc. But I suspect there are also people who say they can't get a loan but perhaps have been unwilling to do the inconvenient legwork eg. put together a business plan, apply multiple places, etc.

  • GJ - 8 years ago

    The source for unsecured business loans in the U.S. is the Small Business Administration. SBA loans have a threshold of $25K--if you need less than that, you can't get one. Few other lending institutions make unsecured loans, except for credit card loans. And as we all know, the banks can and do change the terms on credit cards after the loan has been made. For those reasons, "microfinance" loans in the US are generally considered to be loans under $25K. That said, well-educated Americans who want to be their own boss have a better option--getting a job and saving for their dream. In the U.S. as in other nations, Kiva should be partnering with organizations that serve those who don't have access to other options (and not because they've fried their credit rating buying designer jeans and lattes they couldn't afford).

  • Patricia - 8 years ago

    There's a saying: "Love sees no color." From this I respectfully like to add: "Loaning too should see no color, country, or borders." There's room in the Kiva tent for all people in need, just as there's room in the Kiva tent for all of us to exercise our freedom to decide whom to loan to.

    Of the hundreds of loans I've made to date, two were to the United States: One loan was to Yamile (recent cancer survivor) in California, and the other was to Carlos (originally from Ecuador) in New York. I chose to loan to them, not because they're from the United States, but because their stories moved me. It wouldn't matter if they were from the moon; they were people in need and their stories touched my heart.

    Thank you Kiva for providing us a means to help those in need regardless of who they are or where they live.

  • Stephanie - 8 years ago

    Lending to people living in poverty from of any country should be an option for those of us connected to KIVA.

    I have a tendency to lend to single parents with children, we all have our own focus - my focus is based more on need than where the person is from. I am in favor of US lending.

  • Faye - 8 years ago

    Strongly in favor. The opportunity to give nationally in no way diminishs my desire or intent to continue to give internationally. However, charity does - indeed, begin at home. In a global economy there is no denying the interconnectivity of opportunity, lessons, and attitude: if we leave the American slice out of this, we've disconnected the connectivity.

  • Jill - 8 years ago

    While I am not categorically against US loans (as others have already mentioned: poverty exists everywhere) I really think there needs to be some kind of screening process involved or Kiva will lose all credibility. Seeing loan requests from a US architect or TV producer right next to one from someone in Ghana who has next to nothing does not sit well with me. I don't doubt that these people need the money, but I have a hard time seeing how these loans fit the Kiva profile. And until I see a US borrower on Kiva who is *actually living in poverty* I will keep sending my money to other countries where they will do more good.

    I support the suggestion to move these mid/low income/storage shed loans to a sister site where they will not take attention away from the third world borrowers.

  • Nathan Griffiths - 8 years ago

    Kiva is primarily about microfinancing, not donations, and microfinancing is what is making a difference in peoples lives. No-one is being forced or fooled into loaning money to U.S. based entrepreneurs, so why not allow lenders the choice? Geographic location should not be a barrier to accessing microfinancing funds, which is one of the great ideals of Kiva in the first place - I'm not a U.S. citizen and I'm sure they have their reasons for expanding there at this stage, but I look forward to the day when Kiva funds are available to entrepreneurs in every country!

  • Angela Ferguson - 8 years ago

    I am disappointed at Kiva's decision to loan in the US.

    I will not choose to lend US entrepreneurs as I believe my loans will have more impact in developing nations. I also feel strongly about lending in areas where entrepreneurs do not have access to other avenues of funding.

    I want to make it clear that I do believe there are people living in exceptional individual poverty in the US and all around the world, however I would prefer to lend to individuals where the loan has a larger impact on their local community.

  • Arhammar - 8 years ago

    The big mistake with this Kiva decision is that, if there are any real poor and needing people in the developed countries, like USA, it doesnt look like Kiva have found them.

  • Harley - 8 years ago

    In favor of the choice. And the reality that there are starving people in every country that could use a helping hand. Just because someone is American or an American immigrant shouldn't exclude them from access to loans that will help them put food in their bellies. I think its selfish and hypocritical for those not in favor of it to say its okay to give to this person but not this another. You should really think about your motives before patting yourself on the shoulder for "being a humanitarian"

  • Beverly Archer - 8 years ago

    I must come down on the side on NOT lending in US (or any other developed nation) Most of my objections have been iterated on these pages and I will not waste space by repeating them except to this extent.... "Needing" $6000 dollars to develop a website for your business idea is a world away from "needing" $600" to buy two goats to raise so that you might feed your family. PLEASE do not stray from your original and core principals. I agree with the writers who urge you, if you must, to start a secondary website for economic development in the first world.
    Beverly Archer

  • Katie - 8 years ago

    I am really excited that Kiva made the move to the U.S. I don't believe this dilutes funds going to the developing world - lenders still have complete control over where their funds go so you can continue to lend overseas as normal. Rather than complaining, PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.

  • Larkvall - 8 years ago

    As has been said, I can vote with my wallet. I am very suspicous of this latest move and I will be looking for alternatives.

  • Mohammed Al-Sabah - 8 years ago

    Iwould like to say that not everyone in a rich nation is rich. People need help and no matter where they are they still need help. Please dont judge people from where they are.

    Just what i think, People have the choice in who they lend to.

    Mohammed

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