Kiva 101: How do I choose a loan?

Logging onto kiva.org is both exciting (wow look at all these borrowers!) and can be a bit overwhelming (wow, look at all these borrowers). Kiva funds loans in more than 80 different countries around the world through more than 300 Field Partners. Our borrowers are engaged in a wide variety of sectors and industries and they use their loans to benefit a wide range of causes. Lenders have lots of options! You can never go wrong - there's so much good to be done on our site - but here are a few ways you can engage with Kiva.org for a personally meaningful experience. 

A borrower and his family in Cambodia

Think about what causes inspire you

Are you passionate about education? Do you want to help refugees, support women's rights, fund disaster recovery or contribute to sustainability efforts? On the left-hand side of our lending page, sort the loans by any "attribute," "sector" or "tags" you're interested in. If there's a specific cause you care about that isn't in the list, type it into the search bar at the top. 

A borrower and her child in Kenya

Travel the world with your loan

Have you lived in another country? Where was your most meaningful travel experience? Do you have family living in another country? Reconnect with these places by funding a borrower in a country that has a special place in your heart! Or, if there is a region you've heard a lot about in the news recently, contribute there. Filter loans by country or region to find loans that you have a personal connection with.

An agricultural borrower with her son in Ukraine

Join a lending team

Lots of our lenders engage with Kiva in teams. Teams are self-organized groups of lenders built around common interests, school affiliations or locations. They often coordinate their lending and measure their collective impact. Lending on a team is both motivating and rewarding, especially when you join a team aligned with an interest group you're part of. You can join as many teams as you'd like, or start your own! Browse through our teams and join one here!

A borrower in India

Sign up for Monthly Good automatic lending

Do you love Kiva, but just can't get to the site often enough? Sign up for Monthly Good, and choose the amount you'd like to automatically donate each month. We'll choose where your funds go, but we'll send you monthly emails with success stories demonstrating the impact you've made. 

 

A borrower family in Belize

Check out our "lend by category" page 

If you're still stuck, this page sorts loans into categories and suggests which loans you may be interested in! Explore loans that are trending right now, loans that are almost funded or loans from countries that may be new to you. 
 

There are lots of loans on our site that are sent to faraway destinations - but with these tips, the impact you make will never feel far away. Start lending here


About the author

Channing Fisher.

Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.