Microcredit helping to ease poverty in American cities (as reported by Shaila Dewan with the New York Times)

The concept of microlending is an idea that many of us have only a passing knowledge of.  Perhaps you or someone you know has established an account with an organization like Kiva to lend funds to aspiring entrepreneurs in a developing country. These days micro lending is no longer focused on just the developing world.  Organizations like Grameen Bank in New York are lending to working Americans in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Omaha, and Charlotte.  In the U.S., this method of lending has largely been defined as loans under $50,000 (though more commonly $1,500 to $8,000) to entrepreneurs who are unable to access credit through typical channels.  Interest rates are reasonably low, about 15%, as opposed to more than 400% at a “payday” lenders and are paid back in weekly installments. Many micro lending organizations require a savings account with required minimum monthly deposits in addition to offering financial literacy training and business plan consultations.  For the full story, click here.

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