In earlier posts, I have discussed Prosper.com where individuals like you or me can participate in loans to individual consumers. If you haven't visited Prosper.com, please check it out. Be aware of the risk, but it is another way to possibly receive a higher interest return on your money when you carefully invest in loans that are credit-checked and collected by Prosper.com. (Full disclosure, I receive credit for referrals as you can as well after you set up an account. I also have $200 in 4 loans outstanding and am continuing to try to understand that process as well as I have a grasp on investing in stocks.)
I write tonight, not to mention Prosper.com, but to introduce you to Kiva.org, a website that facilitates micro-loans to entrepreneurs in developing regions that require small loans to lift them possibly out of poverty. (Full disclosure, I receive nothing for this plug for Kiva.org. I heard about it today during an interview with the former President Bill Clinton on Keith Olbermann, a favorite show of mine!)
The loans on Kiva are loans without interest. As Kiva reports:
"Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back."
So make your own choice about these websites. Consider putting a bit of money in both of them. One where you can get the satisfaction of receiving above average interest. Or Kiva, where you get the satisfaction of helping out others in need lift themselves out of poverty.
Have a great weekend everyone.