My Impact page now displays principal outstanding

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Julia Kurnia, Oct 15, 2013.

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  1. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear all,

    One of the most frequent suggestions in this forum has been to give lenders better insight into the amount of funds they have outstanding.

    In response to this feedback, we have added two new columns to the "Active Loans" section of the lender "My Impact" page. The new columns display the principal amount that has been repaid, and the principal still outstanding for each loan made. The total principal outstanding is also displayed at the top of the page, along with any lending credit available.

    The principal outstanding is calculated as the original USD amount that was lent to each borrower, times the percentage of the loan that is still outstanding (not yet repaid). It is not adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and does not include any interest due.

    I'd welcome your comments on whether this enhancement is useful, and further improvements you'd like to see in the "My Impact" page.

    Thanks,

    Julia
     
    russell, K M, Texas and 2 others like this.
  2. Evelyn

    Evelyn Forum Member

    I noticed this new feature in my account last night. I think you might want to state this info right on the page with an asterisk * by the total principal paid amount. I think people need to know that it is an approximation and not the actual amount that has been repaid into their account.

    1. I would find it helpful to have a column with loan term - 12 months, etc. Then it would be easy to see something rescheduled out much longer.

    2. A column with the date of last payment made would be helpful in tracking who is behind. You could immediately see where there is a problem.

    Last week, for the first time in a year and a half I took the time to open every single borrower page to look at stats for each one. This took several hours. I discovered that two people who had paid about 40 to 50 percent of their loans were behind. I thought they were current and actually neither has made a repayment since May. That's five months past due with no comment or rescheduling. They had fallen through the cracks.
     
  3. Sverre

    Sverre Forum Member

    I would like the possibility to filter loans, to easy sort loans. The Kiva similar page has the possibility to sort loans on:
    all loans, funraising, paying back, delinquent, paid back, ended with loss, refunded expired

    Zidisha will need most or all of the above, and in addition: rescheduled paying back, and rescheduled delinquent.

    In the current situation, I think its very important to easy spot delinquent loans, so that we can ask Zidisha and the borrower about the situation, before many months has gone with no repayment, and possible increased diffiulties contacting the borrower.

    The should also be a column or another way , listing amount in arrears.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  4. Evelyn

    Evelyn Forum Member

    I agree with this. From a lender's perspective it is very important to be able to easily see who is not paying for several reasons. One is for contacting the borrower sooner to see what is wrong.

    Also it is part of the learning process for the lender. When I am deciding whether or not to loan to a particular borrower I might be taking several things into consideration, maybe even testing a theory about a criteria. Once I see someone is behind in payments, I'd like to know why and sooner rather than later. It might prove or disprove a certain theory and cause me to reevaluate who I am picking to lend to currently.

    This information about people being behind in payments, for me, goes into the decision making process about choosing borrowers and adding funds to my Zidisha account.
     
  5. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Evelyn and Sverre, thanks for this advice. Evelyn, we added pop-up definitions of some of the terms in the My Impact page, including one that addresses how outstanding principal was calculated. How do the definitions look to you? Is there anything that ought to be further clarified?

    I should note that we do not wait until lenders contact Zidisha about a loan in arrears to follow up with the borrower. Automated notifications are sent to all of the contacts of members in arrears past a certain time, and our VMs also receive requests to follow up with their assigned members in arrears as soon as scheduled payments are missed.
     
    Evelyn and Sverre like this.
  6. russell

    russell Forum Member

    I looked at the columns did a few simple calculations and calculated the outstanding loans total equals almost exactly the amount I uploaded.If the interest paid exceeds the currency losses this might mean on paper I am making a profit.If some of my big loans get written off that will quickly wipe all profits out and more.At the moment though on paper I probably am ahead by a small amount.
     
  7. Sverre

    Sverre Forum Member

    What interest have you in average ? I have taken as close to 10% as possible, and on paper before non repaying losses , my portofolio is just above paid in. In addition I am facing danger on losing upt to 50% on non performing loans.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  8. Evelyn

    Evelyn Forum Member

    @Julia Kurnia

    I went back into My Impact account to see what you’re talking about. Now I do see the definitions that can pop up when you mouse over the Funds Uploaded, Credit Available and Principal Outstanding info. I read through the definitions and they look fine to me. The top section reads fine.

    What I think should be further clarified is the Active Loans section itself. Before, the repaid portion of the loan was reflected as a percentage. Now instead the “Principal Repaid” column has a dollar and cents amount. My opinion is that most people will assume that dollar amount is the exact amount that has been credited into their account for each loan and it is not. People will not realize it is really just an estimate based on the percentage. I think this is going to create a lot of misunderstanding.

    My suggestion, if it’s feasible, would be to put a sentence like a disclaimer that runs across underneath the Active Loans section (and above the Ended Loans) that says something like “The Principal Repaid is an estimate, which is calculated as the original USD amount that was lent to each borrower, times the percentage of the loan that has been repaid. It is not the exact amount credited to your account, as it has not been adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and does not include any interest due.” (I just reworked your other section language a bit to fit this area.)

    I realize that Zidisha itself is contacting the borrowers in arrears. However the lender is left out of the loop. The lender is not notified if a borrower is in arrears and might not notice for quite some time.

    As a result the borrower might have the impression the lenders to their loan don’t really care about being repaid because for many months not a single lender has commented saying, “Hey are you OK? I’d like an update.” If they think the lenders don't care about them or the loan, some borrowers might wonder why they should bother repaying even if Zidisha is pestering them with arrears follow up.
     
  9. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Hi Evelyn, that is a good point that lenders might reasonably assume the USD amount displayed in the "Principal Repaid" column should match the amounts credited to their accounts. We've added your suggested language as a pop-up definition in the repaid column for the active loans, as follows:

    "The Principal Repaid is an estimate, which is calculated as the original US dollar amount that was lent to each borrower, times the percentage of the loan that has been repaid. It is not the exact amount credited to your account, as it has not been adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and does not include any interest you have received."

    How does it look now? Any further improvements we can make to clarify the information presented there?
     
  10. russell

    russell Forum Member

    Hi I dont know what my average interest rate is.At the beginning last november I used to lend 2 dollars each to 10% loans and I dollar to loans less than 10%.Later on I started lending around 100 dollars to 10% or more loans and still 1 or 2 dollar to low interest loans.Because of the weighting the average is probably 10%.I wished I had stayed cautious because as you might guess it is the 5 100 dollar loans that are not paying back.Because of my bad experiences I only lend out a max of 10 dollars now to 10% loans and still only 1 dollar to low interest loans.The reason I bother lending 1 dollar is as part of a crowd of lenders I am helping to finance people who are high risk or are especially good causes or look like nice people who I want to help .Most of those niger loans you posted are 10% loans.I lent two dollars each to them and am extremely lucky that I did not lend them 100 dollars or more each like you did.You have my sympathies,it is not fair that well meaning people like yourself are taken advantage of and face massive losses.If I was giving money away I would not have chosen all those men from niger to give it to.I have lent out to about 1100 people so I have to estimate averages as there are too many to actually calculate.
     
    Sverre likes this.
  11. Evelyn

    Evelyn Forum Member

    I think the information in the pop-up looks good and seems straight forward. Not everyone will read the pop-up, but it is good to have it there. Then maybe if someone does start to question the amount, especially if they are wondering what happened with their interest, they will look at the pop-up.

    Due to the space constraint, there is not much else you can do with the title. Saying “Estimated Principal Repaid.” won’t fit.
     
  12. K M

    K M Gold Member

    Hmm, am I missing it right in front of my face, or has the number of loans made on a lender's profile vanished?
     
  13. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Hi K M, you are right. We had removed the number of loans made to make room for the outstanding principal statistic, and neglected to display it again in another location. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

    Looking at the "My Impact" page now, what are your thoughts on the optimal place to display the number of loans made by the lender? Would it be clearer and more intuitive to put it under "Funds Uploaded," or above "Amount Lent By Me"?
     
  14. K M

    K M Gold Member

    In my opinion, it would be best above "amount lent by me."
     
  15. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Hi K M, the "My Impact" page now displays the number of loans made just above "Amount Lent by Me." How does it look to you now? Is there anything else we can do to make the page clearer and more useful while still keeping a clean and simple look? Thanks, Julia
     
  16. K M

    K M Gold Member

    Thank-you. Looks good, I can't think of anything else right now.
     
    Evelyn likes this.
  17. Falconet

    Falconet Forum Member

    Could you also create a column for the interest received?
     
  18. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Hi Falconet, it is certainly understandable to wish to track interest earned. However, I'm afraid we will not be able to display any financial return information for the forseeable future.

    The reason is that Zidisha is not licensed as an investment broker, and the US has very strict regulations against offering services that look similar to investments without a license. Making our website look similar to an investing site by tracking financial returns would expose our organization to legal risk.

    More importantly, we wish to make it absolutely clear to lenders that our site should not be seen as a place to store financial assets. We are simply a philanthropic platform and refraining from tracking financial returns keeps the emphasis on social impact and helps reinforce our message that lending through Zidisha should be seen as a form of giving, not financial investing.

    If tracking interest earnings is very important, I can refer you to Microplace.com, which I understand is licensed as a securities broker and can legally provide financial return information to lenders.

    I believe MyC4.com, which is based in Denmark where securities laws are not as strict as in the US, also offers good financial return tracking tools to lenders.
     
  19. Falconet

    Falconet Forum Member

    hi Julia,

    I have no interest in having a financial return on Zidisha.
    I only wanted that column to check the interest that the borrower paid me. I didn't know that you needed a license for that. I heard about both platforms but they don't really interest me because I just want to help people.

    Thanks for your fast reply.
     
  20. Falconet

    Falconet Forum Member

    Hi,

    I noticed that the word "Array" was added to the my account page as per the image.
    What does it mean?[​IMG]
     
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