Monday, April 28, 2008

Support US microloans and microlending.

Regular readers know that I am a big supporter of mircoloans. There are many benefits of mircolending and though much of the press is about microloans availability outside of the United States, microloans are also available in the US. Here are just a few organizations to consider:

* Grameen America "is a microcredit lender whose mission is to help entrepreneurial individuals, especially women, build credit and defeat poverty." This is a subsidiary of Nobel Larueate Mohammed Yunus' Grameen Bank which really popularized microlending. They are "Bankers for the Unbanked."

* Accion USA makes loans to small business people of up to $25,000 and provides financial literacy education.

* Prosper is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending agency where almost anyone can request a loan that almost anyone can fund.

* LendingClub is also a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending agency. Again, almost anyone can lend or borrow.

* is another P2P agency that facilitates lending between family and friends. The loans can be for business, real estate, or personal purposes.

Note that only Grameen and Accion are dedicated to reducing poverty and are purposefully designed to raise standards of living. If you are a borrower, compare your options to see which plan will work best for you. If you are lender, consider your needs: Do you want to make a donation or would you prefer to be paid back? Would you like to earn interest? Do you want to choose who you lend to? Consider the options, then choose the organization that works best for you.

With all these options and ethical goals, maybe Shakespeare's Lord Polonius was wrong when he said "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."

"Never mistake motion for action." - Ernest Hemingway


Mark said... compares the details (fees, loan amounts, default terms, etc) of the major P2P companies - Prosper, Lending Club, Loanio, Zopa, GlobeFunder, Virgin Money, LoanBack & Nolo.

Full Disclosure: I'm affiliated with

Karama said...

Thanks a lot, Mark. I didn't realize there were so many P2P companies. Thanks for the heads up!

I hope you enjoyed your visit to So What Can I Do. Please come back again soon, and spread the word.

Karama said...

Microplace now also makes loans in the US. And remember with Microplace, you not only get your money back (ideally) you also get interest! Microplace US loans are administered by Accion.

Karama said...

And if you need business cards for your, check out VistaPrint. They have very nice cards for FREE. I use them myself!

Karama said...

Please vote for So What Can I Do for the 2009 Black Web Award for Most Original Blog. Visit and vote as often as you like before October 5, 2008. Anyone can vote and there's no need to register to do so. Thanks!

Karama said...

And here's another US microloan opportunity from Kiva! Enjoy!