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Your Kiva Account Settings Just Got That Much Simpler

'Settings' can aptly be described as the plumbing of a website. They’re considerably less glamorous than the core product (e.g. lending on Kiva, posting photos on Instagram, etc.), but when they don’t work as expected it can lead to a big mess. On Kiva, the different controls we categorize as “Settings” include the type and frequency of emails you receive, how (and if) your name and photo display publicly on the Kiva website, what to do with funds that are repaid, etc. Making sure that you know how to set up your account the way you want it is part of creating a great user experience. With this in goal in mind, we recently undertook a redesign of the account settings and preferences part of your Kiva portfolio, consolidating everything into one place -- the new "Settings" section.

The first thing you’ll notice is a new settings overview. At a glance, this page provides a quick view into the various settings and preferences you can adjust on your Kiva account, making it easy to locate and navigate to the exact setting you’d like changed.

Account Settings
The first group includes the basics: your name, email address and the ability to change your password. In addition, you’ll find the ability to personalize what appears on your public lender page (city, occupation, why you lend on Kiva, etc.).

A quick note: the information listed under “Personal Info” (such as your first and last name) is not visible to the public. To change what information appears publicly on Kiva, you’ll want to edit the fields under “My Lender Profile.” You can also make yourself anonymous by unchecking “Make my page and loans public.”

Credit Settings
This section includes all settings that affect the money you deposit into your Kiva account. From here you’ll be able to control where your money goes when it’s repaid, what happens to your money if your account becomes inactive, turn on/off auto lending and choose to sign up for a monthly subscription deposit.

Email Settings
Want to change what emails you get from Kiva or how often you receive them? This section will allow you to adjust just about everything from the frequency of team messages to the types of loan updates you receive. A quick note: there are a few emails about your account status and activity that we’re legally required to send (which means you can’t opt out of these).

Facebook Settings
If you’ve connected your Facebook account with your Kiva account (or registered using Facebook), this is where you’ll find a history of any activity you’ve shared, as well as the ability to disconnect these two accounts. And if you’re interested in making it easier to share your lending activity you can come here to enable Facebook Connect.

Volunteer Settings
This page is only visible to the volunteers who review and translate loans on Kiva. From this page volunteers can control the name that appears on the loans they translate, as well as view a history of those loans.

We hope most of your time on Kiva is spent doing more exciting activities (browsing for loans or posting messages to your team), but when a setting needs to be adjusted we want to ensure that the process is simple and straightforward. Our belief is that these changes will significantly improve the control you have over your account by making it easier to understand the available settings and adjust when necessary.

Do these changes make it easier for you to make changes to your account? Let us know what you think! Your comments help us work to continually improve the Kiva website. Email us at!

About the author

Abe Wallin

Abraham has long believed in Kiva’s mission of addressing global poverty by creating relationships between individual lenders and borrowers. In 2011 he joined Kiva as the company’s first full time designer. He brings with him a steadfast belief that constantly creating is as important to humanity as eating and drinking. Prior to joining Kiva he worked at Electronic Arts, Wikia and as a freelance web and interactive designer. With over a decade of experience Abraham has designed and built a wide range of products including websites, video games and mobile applications. He most recently launched an iPhone app for fruits and vegetables called Farmanac.