When it says "Interest & Fees are Charged: No" on a Kiva field partner page, this is clearly not correct, and goes against everything we know about how microfinance works. The programming logic seems to take the fact that there is "N/A" against Portfolio Yield to mean "not applicable", and forces that to supply the answer "No" for whether interest and fees are charged. In fact, "N/A" against Portfolio Yield has to mean "Not Available", and in my view it's extremely dangerous for Kiva's credibility as a transparent lending platform that this absence of information about Kiva's proxy for the interest rate borrowers pay should give rise to the entirely misleading assertion that no
interest and fees are charged.
There has been some discussion about this here at KF, most recently in May last year I think. See here
. Despite it having been acknowledged as a matter of some urgency to be corrected - here
for example - this type of misleading information persists.
This was the list of Field Partners where "Interest & Fees are Charged: No", in May 2010, as noted in RichardF's post
Center for Community Transformation Credit Cooperative (CCT)
Credit Mongol LLC
Gata Daku Multi-purpose Cooperative (GDMPC)
Kisumu Medical & Education Trust (K-MET)
Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC)
Patan Business and Professional Women
I just checked (an easy enough thing to do with a site:www.kiva.org
Google search..) whether this has been put right since May last year. Sadly the errors persist. Considering just active or paused Kiva Field Partners, these are the FPs which today are stated to not be charging their borrowers interest or fees, and for which no information is provided about their portfolio yield.http://www.kiva.org/partners/156
- Juhudi Kilimohttp://www.kiva.org/partners/60
- Christian Rural Aid Networkhttp://www.kiva.org/partners/76
- K-Met Savings and Credit Cooperative Ltdhttp://www.kiva.org/partners/165
- HOPE Congo S.A.http://www.kiva.org/partners/180
- Transcapital Company Ltd
I can't believe that Kiva doesn't have portfolio yield information for these 7 partners, as a matter of initial or ongoing due diligence. Apart from anything else, Kiva must know what the portfolio yield is to ensure that the interest rates charged are not usurious - and of course Kiva lenders also need this information in order to make informed lending choices.