How to write a borrower profile

14 January 2010 at 08:00 8 comments

By Jeremy Lapedis, KF9, Guatemala

What would your borrower profile look like?This morning, I went to do some borrower profiles. The things that you see on Kiva’s website when you want to make a loan, those are borrower profiles. The picture, the description of the person and his or her business are really the meat of the profile (especially if they are selling animal products). Well, from people far away from the scenes, it might be simple enough what you want to see: a smiling person, with his or her business in the background, a description of family life, of business history, of what use the loan will be, and of hopes and dreams. All this in three paragraphs. What would your profile look like? I made one for myself, and it’s at the bottom of this post.

So as you maybe are starting to see, writing the profiles are not as simple as they may seem on the website. First, the person writing the profile is the usually the loan officer, and they have never been a Kiva lender. They are not exactly sure what lenders are looking for, even if I have done training sessions with them. Secondly, the entrepreneurs are not sure what we are looking for either. They just want to answer the questions as succinctly as possible so that it pleases the loan officer. Imagine going into the bank for a loan. Most of us would not give long winded answers to the bank’s questions so that they could really get to know us; We would give them short answers that we thought they wanted to hear.

The challenge is to give the loan officers as much understanding about profiles as possible, while also providing them with open-ended questions to ask the entrepreneurs. For this, I have created somewhat of a formula sheet for writing profiles. There are three boxes: family history, business history, future hopes. And beside each box is a list of questions for the loan officers to ask. This morning, things seemed to go smoothly, as I did 3 borrower profiles with a loan officer.

During an interview, I usually tell the borrowers about myself (I’m 22, I don’t have kids, or even a wife etc.) This helps them ease into things, and be a little more open. Well, as the loan officer and I were completing the interview, I asked the entrepreneurs if they had any questions about me. All three responded by saying, “No, only to say thanks for giving me this opportunity.” I sighed after each one. No matter what my efforts may be, Kiva is still the bank.

Jeremy is a twenty-two-year-old young man. He has come down with a case of wanderlust. He has grown up all his life in Ann Arbor, MI, and is now soliciting a loan to invest into his business of traveling the world and getting smarter.

He first got started traveling the world in 2008, by going to Argentina. But this was only the beginning, he has grown to travel to Bolivia, Peru, Israel and Guatemala. His new plan is to invest this money back into his travels, and return to Peru. He hopes this will be a fruitful experience.

His hopes are to find what his looking for in exploring new cultures, and being exposed to the infinite knowledge that exists outside of his brain. He far of hopes are to go to graduate school and connect everything that he has ever learned together.

Entry filed under: All, Americas, blogsherpa, FAPE, Guatemala, KF9 (Kiva Fellows 9th Class). Tags: , , , , .

A view of lending from the field “Il faut profiter, ein?”


  • 1. henrygreg  |  5 February 2010 at 04:01

    Good day

    I am a private investor i give out unsecured guarantee loans to Business Men
    and women who are into Business transaction,automobile purchase,house
    purchase loan and other personal loans E.T.C we give out long term loan for
    five to fifty years maximum with 2% interest you can email us on this via
    email: and fill out the loan application form


    Your Name:_______________________
    Your Address:_____________________
    Your Country:_____________________
    Your Occupation:___________________
    Loan Amount Needed:_______________
    Loan Duration:_____________________
    Your Occupation:___________________
    Monthly Income:___________________
    Your Telephone Number:_____________
    Your Fax Number:___________________

  • 2. muki  |  17 January 2010 at 08:48

    I am very desperate and a word for you. I would if it is possible that you get credit, because we rubijo apartment. I was without a job and I could not pay the bills, but now I have work but I am not gainfully employed and I can not get credit pretty please, if possible, to get you credit
    € 1200 for 5 months

  • 3. charmaine  |  17 January 2010 at 06:44

    South Sudan is actually on kiva. The MFI is BRAC South Sudan. Here is one that was posted and funded on Friday the 15th.

  • 4. Paul Riak  |  16 January 2010 at 20:51

    My comment to KIVA is how tdo he chose the Country to give loan to thier people? Beacuse i have check the list and Sudan was not there if am not mistaken yet Sudan especially southern Sudan most people live under one dollar a week not even a day.

    My last question is how can the reach Southern Sudan?

  • 5. Antero Martins  |  16 January 2010 at 12:25

    How do I know this is not another scam charity organization?How come there are none of these kind of organisations asking funds to buy weapons and another means to kill and destroy?If we reverse this trend,poverty,wars and misery,would be vanished in an overnight.Let’s give it a chance!

    Antero Martins

  • 6. Victoria  |  12 January 2010 at 14:44

    Nice post, Jeremy! I loved reading your borrower profile. I’ll make a loan to you if you make a loan to me.

    • 7. muki  |  17 January 2010 at 09:48

      Dragi Victoria!
      Tatiana in jaz sem v hudi stiski. Sem ostal brez zaposlitve in sem storil ne plača računov.
      Zato želimo, da bi domov. Prosim, če mi lahko pomagaš. Želel 1200 € za obdobje 5 mesecev. Ne morem dobiti kredita, ker nisem redno zaposlena. Prosim, pomagaj mi.
      Ali lahko odgovorite na e-mail

    • 8. muki  |  17 January 2010 at 09:54

      Dear Victoria!
      Tatiana and I am in desperate need. I remain without a job and I did not pay bills.
      Therefore, we want to take home. Please if you could help me. I’d like € 1200 for a period of 5 months. I can not get credit because I am not gainfully employed. Please help me.
      Can you answer the e-mail
      thank you

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