Thursday, October 3, 2013

Loan Distributions in El Pantanal

This post is written by Trent Shelton, PHPG's Program Coordinator in the Granada region.

Isabel visiting the homes of loan applicants

We at PHPG are continually looking for expansion. To streamline the new loan process in El Pantanal, we only take loan applications three times per year, including in March, September, and December. Because six months had passed since our last loan distributions, people in the community were anxious to apply and to go through the interview process. This was apparent as our team made rounds in the community during normal loan collection days; people continually asked more about the loans and how they can apply for the next loan distribution.

PHPG’s director, Isabel, made the trip down to assist with the loan selections. We conducted over 30 client interviews which consist of a home visit and rigorous questions about their business, their family, and their lifestyle. Several were second loan applicants, but most were applying for their first loan with PHPG. It’s easy to see the excitement in the eyes of the applicants. For many, no one had given them the chance to take out a loan, and especially not a loan with 0% interest!

One of the seven group loan applicants
After the interview process, we met as a team to make final decisions on who will be receiving the loans. We have selected five loan groups made up of 22 loan clients with a total value of about $4,000. The loans will be distributed with our standard process; half of the loan will be distributed on the first disbursement date while the second half will be distributed one week later, after the clients show the receipts of the purchases made with the first half of the loan. The PHPG team will start the loan collection process the week following the initial distribution which consists of making rounds by foot in the community to each group leader's house.

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