Monday, June 14, 2010

Control over your Kiva Credits

Today, Kiva is announcing new features that give you more control over your Kiva Credits.

We wish we could hold Kiva Credits for you in your account indefinitely. Because of state laws, however, if you don't use your account for roughly 3-5 years, many states require us to consider your funds as "abandoned property" and turn it over to the relevant state government for safekeeping on your behalf.

Of course, it's important to Kiva to comply with relevant state regulations. But, we'd also like to give you — the Kiva lender — control over what happens to your money if your account becomes inactive.
  • Before your account is considered legally abandoned, you now have the option to have any funds in your account sent back to you.
  • If you choose to, you can re-lend your funds to our Kiva entrepreneurs using our existing features.
  • Or as an option, we would be greatly honored if you were willing to donate to help support Kiva's mission.
We've added some new features and now support all three of these options! Here's how they work:

If you are an existing Kiva lender:

In your My Credit Section, you now have a new feature to choose what Kiva should do with your funds in the event your account becomes inactive. You have 2 options:

1. Have your credit sent to any email address, free of charge, via Paypal.
2. Support Kiva by donating your funds to Kiva’s operating costs. Donations can be claimed as a deduction on your US taxes.

Learn More About Inactive Credit Now & Set Up Your Inactivity Preferences

What happens to my funds if I don’t choose a setting or if I don’t claim my credit?

If you don’t make a choice, or we can’t return your funds to you, your Kiva Credit will remain in your account until Kiva is required by applicable state laws to send your funds to your home state or the state of California for safekeeping. You can then reclaim these funds from that state. Learn More about Abandoned Property Laws

If you aren’t a Kiva lender yet, but you sign up for Kiva after today:

In your My Credit Section, you will still have the option to choose whether your inactive funds should be sent back to you or donated to Kiva. By default, new users will start out with the setting to donate inactive funds to Kiva.

We hope that you will consider leaving your inactivity settings to support Kiva, although we completely understand if you'd prefer to change it. That said, the choice is entirely up to you.

Q. How Does Kiva Remind Me About Unused Kiva Credit?

Monthly Email Reminders

We'll send you a monthly reminder email letting you know that you have Kiva Credit in your account. It's important to make sure that the email address that you provide us with is up-to-date so that you can receive these reminders. You can update your email address here.

Q. How Does Kiva Define Inactive?

Kiva accounts are considered inactive if they haven't been used or modified for 24 or more consecutive months. That means all it takes to keep your account active is to log in!

Q. How Do I Keep My Account Active?

Make Loans & Log In
As long as you log in or make loans regularly, you’ll never go inactive.

Automatic Lending
When you don’t have time to search for loans, we’ve made it much easier for you to automatically manage your lending. When you go on vacation, get busy with work, or simply forget to lend this month, consider turning on Automatic Lending. This feature allows you to set up your account so that your funds can be matched with loans according to your preferences when you haven’t had time to log in for a while. Learn More About Automatic Lending.