Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why are there so few loans on Kiva?

We've been getting questions from many of you about the unusually low number of loans on the Kiva site for the past week. Currently, there are fewer than 100 loans on the site, when typically lenders can find over 1,000 borrowers looking for support. 

We call this "low inventory," and we realize it can be frustrating because it may mean that you can't find the exact type of loan you like the fund. In Kiva’s world, this is both good news and bad news.

The good news is that borrowers are getting funded! The not-as-good-news is that our lenders may not find the borrowers they're looking for, and therefore have a less-than-good experience with Kiva. And, because we want to make sure that we're consistently helping as many borrowers as possible, we don't like to see loan posting slow down.

What causes low inventory?
Every month, our partner organizations post loans to Kiva to help the borrowers they work with get funded. Some partners post more than others, and the numbers vary based on a whole host of factors.

At the start of January, there were upwards of 1,500 loans on the site. But between all the new lenders redeeming their holiday Kiva Cards and new year's enthusiasm, very few are left. Additionally, January tends to be a slower month for our partners as they take a break after posting a lot of loans to meet holiday demand.

What does this mean for borrowers?
Low inventory is a sign that more borrowers are getting funded to achieve their goals. Fewer loans are expiring, and our partners are getting the support they need to reach even more borrowers and continue offering non-financial services like business training, health care and more.

So, this is nothing to be worried about?
Correct! Current low inventory is not indicative of anything wrong at Kiva or at our partner organizations. A new, big batch of loans will be posted in early February, just like every month. So if you're waiting to fund someone from a particular country, or in a certain sector, stay tuned. New loans are on the way!

Have more questions about low inventory? Send them our way at blog@kiva.org.