Interest-free crowdfunded financing for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

  • Best for business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Pick something else if you need funds fast.


    Min. Amount


    Max. Amount


    Product Name Kiva
    Min. Amount $25
    Max. Amount $15,000
    Loan Term 1 to 3 years
    APR 0%
    Requirements Have members of social network willing to contribute, live in US, ages 18+, not in bankruptcy, not a registered sex offenders or terrorist, not convicted of violent or financial crimes in past five years.

    Application Criteria

    • Have friends and family contribute to your campaign
    • Live in the US
    • Be over 18
    • Not be engaged in multilevel marketing, financial investing or illegal activity
    • Use your loan for business purposes

    First, do I qualify?

    To be eligible for a Kiva direct microloan, you must:

    • Have friends and family contribute to your campaign
    • Live in the US
    • Be over 18
    • Not in bankruptcy proceedings
    • Not a registered sex offender or terrorist
    • No violent or financial criminal convictions in the past five years
    • Able to cover monthly debt payments with income

    What is a Kiva direct microloan?

    A Kiva direct microloan is a crowdfunded loan with no interest or fees. Kiva allows first-time borrowers to apply for loans ranging from $25 to $15,000 with terms up to 3 years. Kiva generally recommends applying for different loan amounts depending on your time in business, with loans up to $1,000 for startups and higher amounts for businesses that are bringing in revenue.

    How do Kiva direct loans work?

    Applying for a Kiva microloan involves setting up a campaign and having between 5 and 35 members of your social network contribute to it within the first 15 days. If your network can make those contributions, your campaign will become public and you have up to 30 more days to reach your goal. Kiva claims that over 90% of campaigns that go public reach their goal.

    What makes Kiva microloans unique?

    Kiva isn’t a lender, but a platform that allows businesses to raise funding for a loan through its website. It’s not quite crowdfunding because you have to pay it back, but there are zero interest payments or platform fees.

    Kiva loans are designed to help business owners who typically can’t qualify for funding get a loan. It doesn’t consider your credit score when you apply, is welcome to both new and established businesses alike, and doesn’t cost a cent to apply or repay.

    It also introduced a six-month grace period before repayments begin, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    What are the benefits of a Kiva microloan?

    From its zero costs to its minimal eligibility requirements, here are a few perks of taking out a Kiva microloan for your small business:

    • No interest or fees. Kiva charges nothing extra on its direct microloans for US businesses.
    • All credit types accepted. Kiva uses criteria other than your credit score to evaluate creditworthiness.
    • Startups welcome. You can get funding through Kiva even if you just have an idea for a business.
    • No residency requirements. As long as you live in the US, you’re eligible for a loan — you don’t necessarily need to be a citizen or permanent resident.
    • Small-dollar loans. You can borrow as little as $25 through Kiva — and without paying triple-digit APRs.

    What to watch out for

    From its difficult-to-navigate website to its long turnaround, consider these potential drawbacks before borrowing:

    • Relies on your social network. If you can’t get enough of your friends, family and other members of your social network to contribute, you won’t qualify.
    • Long turnaround. It can take you up to 45 days to raise the funds you need with Kiva. If you’re looking for something faster, consider an online business loan instead.
    • Not ideal for large projects. Kiva’s maximum loan amount of $15,000 won’t be much help if you need financing for large projects like buying out another business or purchasing real estate.
    • No customer service line. While you can call a phone number and leave a voicemail, Kiva recommends sending an email to get a quicker response. In other words, you won’t be able to get an instant answer to any questions.
    • Hard-to-navigate website. Kiva’s website was designed with lenders in mind. It’s not always obvious where to find information for borrowers.

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