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You can use Kiva to meet your minimum spending requirements on credit cards. However, this isn’t for everyone because your money is tied up for months. And there is a risk of losing your money! But you are also helping others at the same time!
Although you can no longer load Vanilla Visa cards to Bluebird at Walmart, there are lots of ways to complete your minimum spending, like using Kiva.
Because I have to spend $13,000 in 3 months, I may use Kiva to meet my minimum spending. If you’re applying for the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card, some folks have reported being able to get the 3X points on charitable donations on Kiva loans.
Kiva is a non-profit that provides small loans to folks worldwide who are starting a business or want to expand their business.
You can make a Kiva loan of $25 or more to a borrower. And you can fund the loan with your credit card!
Kiva loans are funded via PayPal so you have to have a PayPal account. You won’t pay any PayPal fees when you use your credit card because those are paid by Kiva.
3 Things to Know About Kiva Loans
1. Loan Repayments Are NOT Guaranteed
Kiva loans are NOT (repeat, NOT) 100% guaranteed. So there is a chance that your loan might not get repaid. That said, many folks have never had a problem loaning money through Kiva. But some folks might have had different experiences.
There is also currency risk i.e. you could get back less because of currency fluctuations.
2. Loans Aren’t Repaid Immediately
You can find some loans with quicker repayment schedules than others, but usually loans take a few months before repayments begin. You’ll be paying the total amount of the loan with your credit card up front and you’ll be paid back in installments.
This isn’t for you if you can’t wait months without your money!
So if you have to repay your credit cards before your statement closes with the money you’re using to lend, Kiva loans are NOT for you. There’s no point paying interest on credit card debt!
3. You Can Join a Team
How to Register With Kiva
Step 1 – Register With Kiva
From the Kiva website, click on the “Register” button.
Step 2 – Sign-Up
You can sign-up with Kiva using your Facebook account or by creating a Kiva account.
How to Choose a Kiva Loan
I look for loans that:
- Are almost fully funded
- Have a good repayment history (if it’s a 2nd or 3rd loan)
- Have repayments scheduled to start soon
- Loans by field partners (local bank that administers the loan) that cover currency exchange loss or countries that use US dollars
Loans that are almost fully funded with a repayment schedule that begins soon means you get your money back sooner. This is good for folks who can’t afford to have their money tied up too long.
Field partners are the local banks that handle the loans for the borrowers. If the person you’ve lent money to can’t repay, a reputable field partner will pay you on their behalf. And some field partners cover currency exchange losses, which I’ll explain.
Say you lend money to a person in a foreign country but then their nation’s currency gets seriously devalued. When your loan repayments are converted to US dollars you’d be getting less money than you lent. Some field partners will absorb that loss even when it’s over 10%, while some do not. So you can choose to use Kiva with only field partners who cover this unlikely event or only lend to countries that use US dollars, such as Ecuador.
How to Make a Kiva Loan
Step 1 – Search for a Loan
Once you create an account, you can search for a loan to fund.
Step 2 – Click on the “Lend $25” Button
After you’ve chosen your loan, click on the “Lend $25” button.
I chose Waqar because:
- The loan will pay her son’s education
- Silatech.AlAskmakh is matching loans
- Repayments will begin on August 1, 2014 (so I will get repaid faster)
Step 3 – Click “Continue”
You can fund more than $25 (up to $775 on this loan) by clicking the loan box.
But I’m just going to loan $25, so I don’t make any changes.
To keep operating expenses low, Kiva adds a suggested donation of $3.75. But you can increase or decrease the amount by clicking the “Edit” button. I use Kiva often so I removed the $3.75 donation for operating expenses.
If you’re done searching for loans, you can click “Continue.”
Step 4 – Click “Pay Now”
Kiva gives you the option to “donate repayments” which means any repayments on this loan are donated to Kiva. If you choose this option, you will not get your money back!
I want to get my money back so I don’t check this box. And I click the “Pay Now” button.
Step 5 – Sign Into Your PayPal Account to Pay
Sign into your PayPal account to complete your loan payment.
Kiva loans are a minimum of $25 and can be funded with a credit card.
Kiva loans are NOT guaranteed and the loans are NOT paid back immediately. So if you need to get your money back before your statement closes, you should NOT do a Kiva loan.
On the other hand, if you can float the money and are comfortable with the risks involved, this is a great way to do good and earn miles and points!