New Field Partner: Making education more achievable with Lumni Chile

We’re thrilled to welcome Lumni as our new Field Partner in Chile!

Did you know that in Chile, only 40% of the eligible student population is able to access higher education -- compared to 80% in developed countries? One of the main barriers to education is the limited access to financing. The loan requirements for education may include collateral, high interest payments or inconvenient repayment loan terms that students are simply not able to take on. Lumni, a lending organization in Chile, is working to change this.

How, you wonder? The organization helps students from low-income families pay their tuition through future income contracts. Founded in 2003, the organization is the pioneer in the field of human capital financing in Chile. According to Lumni CEO Felipe Vergara, “Lumni has helped students from Chile, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and the U.S. to receive a higher education, and by 2015, the organization made commitment to support 2,000 more students to pursue their careers.”

To prevent dropouts, Lumni assesses participants carefully through online applications, and targets those pursuing degrees in high-demand fields like business, engineering, economics, medicine and education. Lumni also provides non-financial services to students, including coaching on how to successfully apply for jobs in their fields of interest. Today, it has helped more than 1,300 students pursue higher education.

How does the loan repayment work?

Recognizing that students can only start repaying loans after they graduate, only a monthly “repayment culture” payment of around US$10 is due during their academic years. This is to make sure that the borrowers get used to the culture of loan repayment. Once the borrower starts to work, Lumni calculates repayments as a percentage of their income, making it easier to pay back the loan. This percentage is determined by statistical analysis and is adjusted based on country, employability, periods of unemployment and loan size.

Lumni partners with different organization, including Ashoka, Grant Thornton, Inter-American Development Bank and Lex Mundi. Kiva is very excited to join as a new partner and support students from different countries to become educated and self reliant!

Kiva lenders’ funds will help the organization accelerate its ability to meet students' needs. Additionally, the funds will help Lumni to finance a new target group: undergraduate students. Way to go Lumni!

LEND TO A LUMNI BORROWER TODAY! Many lenders are interested in these loans, so we’re sorry if we’re out for now. More are on the way!

Have questions about Lumni? Want to learn more about microfinance in Chile? Send queries our way at

Images courtesy of Lumni.

About the author

Amniya Shahbozova

Amniya was born in Khorog, Tajikistan, a city on the Tajik-Afghan border. After finishing high school, she obtained a scholarship to study Accounting, Analysis and Audit at the Finance Academy under the Government of Russia. After graduating and working for two years as an accountant in Moscow, Russia, she interned with Aga Khan Foundation, USA in Washington DC where she became interested in microfinance. She then completed an MSc. in International Business at University West in Sweden and returned to Tajikistan, where she worked as Social Performance and Product Development Officer and later Product Development Manager for the First MicroFinance Bank (FMFB). While working for FMFB, Amniya facilitated the first loan program for Afghan refugees in Tajikistan with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and led the Bank’s development of Remittance Linked Savings for Tajik migrants in Russia. Amniya is an avid traveler, and loves listening to music both from Tajikistan and North America.