A new p2p company that I was recently introduced to is Vittana.
Vittana wants to get people around the world to college.
In America and other developed countries, it’s fairly normal to receive large amounts of aid and student loans to help finance college. Unfortunately, under-developed nations don’t have access to these funds and if a family doesn’t have money, the student is often left with no college options.
This is where Vittana steps in. They provide microfinancing to students in underdeveloped nations so they can go to college.
Students apply for loans and then get approved by Vittana. You can search for students based on country, loan amount, area of study, or status of loan.
You can make a loan of $25, $50, or your choosing. 100% of your money goes to the student as Vittana pays for its workers and operation strictly through donations and angel investing.
Once the student raises enough to cover their college costs, they will continue with their education. Once he or she graduates and gets a job, they will start to pay back the loan. Some students who may work part-time jobs while going to school may choose to pay back the loan sooner, but you can expect the loans to take a couple of years to be paid back.
To ensure the safety of the loans, many of the students must have co-signers on the loans in case they default. Historically, Vitana’s default rate for loans is less than 3% so your money is pretty safe.
The Loan Process
The sign-up process is painless. They offer one of the most bare-bones member sign-ups I’ve ever seen – it took less than 20 seconds to make myself an account.
After you have your account, you can search for students. Since Vittana’s new, the choice of students is pretty small, so it’s easy to find a student to make a loan.
Once you choose a student and decide how much you want to loan, you’ll be sent to PayPal and you can make the payment.
That’s it. Vittana will keep you updated on how the student is doing in school and on the payback of the loan – much like Kiva.
This is a terrific use of peer-to-peer lending and something I hope will become even more popular as their name gets around.
I donated $25 to 2 students in Paraguay, so I challenge you to make a difference with your money as well.
Although Vittana is young, they’re off to a great start, so help a student out today!