Thought I'd start a new thread to help out new lenders. There's so much to learn, and probably too much to put in one post, but here's a start... Choosing a loan: Every lender has different interests and ideas about what kind of loan they would want to support, but in general with the vast number of loans on Kiva at any given time, the choice can seem paralysing. So here are a few tips on how to choose a loan. There are a number of tools to narrow down your search for loans. First are the sector filters on the left of the loan list. You can also choose loans by country with the map at the upper left. On the upper right of the loan list is a drop down menu to select the way the loan list is sorted. The default is "Popularity" but you can also sort by Loan Amount, Repayment Term, Most Recent, and Expiring Soon, or you can choose "Random". Once you have selected a loan that you think you would like to support, take a look at the information on the right side of the loan desceiption page. You will already have looked at the photo and the loan description, but there are other factors to consider. Repayment Term might be from 5 months to 10 years. How long you want to tie up the funds you lend is your choice, but do make a choice Many lenders prefer terms from 6 months to about 14 months so the funds are repaid and can be relent in a reasonable time frame. Repayment Schedule might say "Monthly", "Irregularly" or "End of Term". This is closely related to repayment term. You can get detailed information on the schedule from the Repayment Schedule tab above the loan photo. Look at the Field Partner information as well. In addition to the number of stars, you can get a sense of the risk profile of this partner by looking at how long they have been posting loans on Kiva, delinquency rate and default rate. Of course, prior performance is no guarantee of future results, but it's useful information. Over time you will lose money on Kiva, but you can minimize risks by staying away from riskier-looking field partners. Or you can choose to make a loan in spite of it feeling more risky if the cause seems worthy to you. Your capital, your choice. To explain the numbers: Delinquency Rate is the amount of repayments overdue divided by the total amount owing. Loans at Risk is the number of loans delinquent divided by the number of outstanding loans. Default Rate is the amount of repayments defaulted divided by the field partner's total amount repaid. It should be noted that delinquency is common, but does not generally lead to loan default. For a variety of reasons a client might underpay, or miss a payment and then need to catch up later. The effect is that repayments are delayed, but the vast majority of clients do ultimately catch up on delinquent loans. ...more to come.