I have written in the past about Kiva, and what a great organization it is to help people in third world countries that are striving to help themselves.
Of course there is always brouhaha about how we need to help ourselves before helping others overseas. So about three months ago, I did some searching and reading, and more reading and searching, and came up with a good site where we can give a helping hand up to people in our own country.
This site is the Lending Club. I have made eleven loans, four of which have started paying back, and there have been no missed payments yet. I wanted to give this some track record and validate payments and statements, before I posted here. Borrowers need to provide credit information, their credit scores are posted, delinquencies are disclosed, and debt to income ratios are displayed. You can determine your own risk. I highly recommend this site.
This is a win-win, I get better than the 0.1% interest in my savings account, and everyday Americans get to consolidate debt and start to make inroads into financial security. Currently, my consolidated interest rate is 9.34%, nothing to shake a stick at.
If you decide to join, use the referral code "Buckoclown" and you will get $25 to get started. Disclaimer, this is not paid advertising and I get nothing if you become an investor.
I have set it up so that every two weeks I deposit $25 into both my Kiva and my Lending Club accounts so that I can help others get a step ahead to their dream. Hope you will join me in one or both of these causes.