Has anyone here used www.kiva.org to lend money to individuals overseas? (They offer people the opportunity to lend small amounts of money, now $25 at a time, to contribute towards an amount, typically between $300 and $1500, requested by someone in the Third World. Recipients generally use these interest-free loans to invest in their businesses, improve production, and become more prosperous and self-sufficient. They say their repayment rate is 96%. Here [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXk4GUGXNTQ&mode=related&search= is a Frontline piece about one loan recipient in Uganda.
I think the concept is interesting, and they tout their “data-rich, transparent lending platform,” but I’m still not clear on how they identify people who need help or ensure that the money is used in the way the person promises to do so. I’m curious if anyone has more detailed information, or any firsthand experience lending through the organization.