Up until now, we have protected lenders from credit risk by automatically declining the applications of new borrowers who exhibited characteristics that are associated with high risk of default. This had the advantage of preventing many fraudulent applications, but at the cost of also declining some legitimate applicants. Starting last week, we have begun trying something new: instead of automatically declining applicants who appear high-risk, we will offer the option of joining Zidisha after making a payment into the Members Loan Fund (a fund that reimburses lenders for loans that do not repay). Applicants who would otherwise be declined may join via this option, if they desire. The Members Loan Fund payment is paid in weekly installments, as with loans. Once these applicants complete their MLF payment, they will be admitted as Zidisha members, and allowed to raise loans under the same policies as other members. As with other members who opt to prepay a Members Loan Fund payment, their starting credit limit will increase based on the previous amounts they have repaid on time. (For example, someone who pays $10 into the Members Loan Fund on time, in weekly installments over the minimum time period, may then raise a loan of $15, then $22.50, and so forth. Someone who pays $100 into the Members Loan Fund (on time in weekly installments) would go on to raise a loan of $150, $225, etc.) Applicants who do not exhibit high default risk will continue to be admitted and offered the choice of raising a small starting loan right away, or making a payment into the Members Loan Fund and then raising a larger loan. This option only applies to members who would be declined at the time of application due to high risk. Any member who is declined for violating our policies or providing untruthful information (for example, copying someone else's loan profile, or providing false references) will still be permanently banned from raising loans. The intent is to give as many people as possible the chance to join Zidisha, while continuing to protect our community from credit risk.