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Tips to make your loan profile shine!

Photo credit: Rachael Crowe
Photo credit: Rachael Crowe

Your loan profile is what lenders see when they click on your loan. It is how they learn about you, your business, and your goals, so it is very important to have the best loan profile possible to get as many lenders as you can. 

Here's how to make each part stand out:


Your photo is vital. It is the first thing lenders will see, and many lenders will use it to decide whether or not they want to learn more about you. We’ve noticed that loan pages with poor photos fundraise slowly. We require that both you and your business appear in your photograph, and we do NOT allow selfies, headshots, logos, or photoshopped images. 



Show you, the borrower, and your
business in the photo

Use a headshot, logo, selfie, or
photoshopped image

Use a horizontal photo

Use a photo that is blurry, pixelated, or out
of focus

Use a photo that is clear, with lots of light

Use a photo that’s too dark

Use a photo that is eye-catching

Use a photo that’s visually confusing

Smile in your photo!

Stand stiff and formal in your photo.
We’d like to see your personality!


Here are some photo examples:

What works well:

Good lighting, horizontal, shows the borrower and her personality, gives an idea of her business.

What needs improvement:

Vertical, doesn't show the borrower's face, doesn't give an idea of what the business is.

What works well:

Good lighting, clear, horizontal, shows the borrower, gives an idea of his business.

What needs improvement:

Too dark, difficult to see the borrower's face clearly, doesn't give much of an idea of the business.


Personal Story

At Kiva, we emphasize the personal side of businesses and borrowers. For that reason, we ask for a personal story so that we and the lenders can get to know you. This section should be about 2 paragraphs and show who you are as a person and why you are passionate about what you are doing. Talk about your interests, what motivates you, and what has shaped you as a person. Highlight your future goals and dreams, what led you to start this business, and your entrepreneurial spirit and determination. Don’t be impersonal or too formal. Try to add some flair, and tell us how you and your business are unique and interesting!

Some questions to get you started:

  • Where did you grow up? 

  • What was it like? 

  • Is there an instance from the past that demonstrates your entrepreneurial spirit? 

  • Where are you today? 

  • What are your dreams for the future?


Business Description

Here is where you tell lenders about your business. This should be about 2 paragraph. The more information you give lenders, the more interested and invested they will be. Be specific! Explain what your business does, why it was founded, who your clientele is, how your business is run, what your business represents, day to day operations, future goals, and any awards or accomplishments your business has earned. This section should also be personal! Don’t be too formal. Let your passion and excitement show.

Some questions to get you started:

  • What about your business are you most proud of?  

  • What are the goals you have for your business in the future?  

  • Who are your customers?  

  • What are your biggest challenges?  

  • How will Kiva support the growth of your business?


Purpose of the Loan

We and the lenders need to hear why you need the money and what you plan to do with it. How will it help you grow? The more specific you can be, the better.

You need two different versions of this. A 1-2 sentences summation to go at the top of the loan’s page, and a 1-2 paragraph expansion under the description of your business. Both should be clear and understandable and communicate the general and long-term effects of the loan. Use a clear number break down to show as much specificity as possible.


Social Media Links

Add any and all social media links your company has, including a link to your business’s website if it has one. A website and/or multiple social media sites show lenders you are a strong investment. They’re also a great opportunity for lenders to learn more about you and your business.


Most important of all:

Proofread your writing! Nothing makes a business seem less professional than silly spelling errors.


Some examples of great loan profiles:

About the author

Angela Rollins

Angela is a recent graduate from the University of Rochester with a BA in Economics and minor in English Literature. Currently, Angela is serving as an Americorps VISTA and Program Coordinator for the Kiva Rochester Program. Angela is passionate about creating economic empowerment with strategic, data-driven initiatives like Kiva!