SELF is one of a handful of Kiva Field Partners in the US. Kiva loans have our lowest interest rate at 5%, fixed over a 3 to 5-year term for qualified clients. These loans are special purpose loans for empowered women, veterans, credit challenged, low income, and hardest to finance clients.
What is Kiva
Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunded loan platform for social good with a mission to connect people to lending to alleviate poverty. More than 1.7 billion people around the world are unbanked and can’t access the financial services they need. Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 in San Francisco, with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive. Kiva does this by crowdfunding loans and unlocking capital for the underserved, improving the quality and cost of financial services, and addressing the underlying barriers to financial access around the world. With a $25 investment, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy, sustainable and resilient home improvements, and realize their potential. Since 2005, Kiva and their growing global community of 1.9 million investors have crowdfunded more than $1.66 billion in microloans to over 4.1 million borrowers in 77 countries, with a 96% repayment rate.
What Clients Need to Know
If SELF requires a Kiva loan, or if you are given the option to go through Kiva, you must provide a photo of yourself and complete a questionnaire and waiver. There are specific photo requirements, so please speak with your Loan Officer about those requirements. The photo and questionnaire responses are then used to create a profile which is posted on Kiva.org for Kiva investors to fund. The profile does not include any personally identifying information, just first name, city, and state. It is important to understand that it can take more than 60 days to fund through Kiva and that funding is not guaranteed. SELF clients have a high success ratio, approximately 85% but that is not a guarantee and clients should not depend on receiving the Kiva funding. For more information on Kiva’s process please visit Kiva FAQ.
SELF Kiva Loans
SELF has three different Kiva loan criteria – Kiva Only, Kiva Required, and Kiva Optional. All SELF Kiva loans have a maximum loan amount of $10,000 including fees with a maximum term of 5 years.
- Kiva Only
If you are selected for a Kiva Only loan that means that your loan can only be funded through Kiva and SELF must wait for you to fund through Kiva before moving forward with your project. If you are NOT funded, your project can NOT move forward.
- Kiva Required
If you are selected for a Kiva Required loan, you are required to submit your photo and questionnaire for the Kiva loan submission. SELF will close your loan with the approved SELF interest rate, which is based on the SELF underwriting approval criteria and risk of the loan. This interest rate could range from 8.99% – 10.99%. If your loan funds through Kiva, your interest rate will be reduced to 5% and your payment also be reduced. This revision will be applied upon funding and will reflect on your next payment. If your loan is not funded through Kiva.org, the payment and interest rate will remain with the original closing interest rate and payment.
Your project can move forward immediately upon meeting all loan closing requirements without waiting to fund through Kiva. Kiva Required does not impact your project moving forward but is a condition of your loan.
- Kiva Optional
If you are selected for Kiva Optional, you will have a choice to pursue Kiva funding or move forward with the alternate terms. If you choose to move forward with Kiva, SELF will close your loan with the approved SELF interest rate, which is based on the SELF underwriting approval criteria and risk of the loan. This interest rate could range from 8.99% – 10.99%. If your loan funds through Kiva, your interest rate will be reduced to 5% and your payment also be reduced. This revision will be applied upon funding and will reflect on your next payment. If your loan is not funded through Kiva.org, the payment and interest rate will remain with the original closing interest rate and payment for the term of the loan. Kiva Optional gives you the opportunity to access the 5% fixed interest rate without it being a condition of your loan.
Your project can move forward immediately upon meeting all loan closing requirements without waiting to fund through Kiva. Kiva Optional does not impact your project moving forward.
Kiva Photo Guidelines
- Good lighting
- Clear photo of face
- Bright color clothing that is not too fancy
- Veterans in their uniforms in the field or at certain ceremonies (Not their professional portrait shots)
- Photo taken outside the home (not featuring house numbers) or in an area with flowers/trees
- Too far away
- Client is wearing sunglasses
- Poor lighting
- Beach Photos
- Yacht Photos (Yes, I have received more than 1)
- Photos in front of identifying house numbers and/or license plates
- Pixelated photos
- Grainy photos
- Photos of photos
Tips on obtaining/taking good Kiva photos:
- Good lighting. Natural light is always best!
- Preferably outside your home (Yard, favorite garden area, etc…).
- Bright color clothing preferably
- No cars in the background (we must avoid license plates).
- No house or mailbox numbers.
- Smile! We want the photo to be inviting and friendly.
- Look at the photo, and be sure to take several options if you’re taking the photo specifically for this project.
- Always send original photos!