Forum > Lender Questions > MLF payment to increase a borrowers credit limit Forum Guidelines

  • Zidisha Volunteer
    Joost
    Noord Brabant, Netherlands

    Feb 3, 2018

    I see a lot of comments of borrowers who are complaining that they haven’t received the full requested loan amount. In all cases they have chosen to increase their credit limit by doing a MLF payment and they clearly didn’t understand or read that they are receiving less money.

    (Below are just my thoughts as a lender)

    Wouldn’t it be a better idea to remove the MLF payment from the new loan request and instead move it to another place where a borrower can do a manual payment into the MLF.

    For example.
    A borrower has had a loan of 100$. He was able to repay it on time and make a profit of 75$. He used 50$ for living expenses and has saved 25$.

    He then has 2 options:
    - Ask a new loan with a naturally grown credit limit of 120$.
    - Do a manual payment into the MLF of 25$ To increase his credit limit with 25$.
    And he can immediately ask a new loan of 145$. 100 + 20% + 25$ (MLF amount)

    This has some benefits:
    - This way a lender never has to deal with those loans with a MLF payment. So it reduces the risk for a lender.
    - Zidisha also stimulates that a borrower needs to save some money during his previous loan to do the MLF payment.
    - The new loan request process is simplified. So no more mistakes by borrowers who don’t understand that a big part of their new loan is put into the MLF fund.
    - A borrower can always use the full amount of the loan he gets to generate income.
    - A borrower can only increase his credit limit with money he already earned instead of with money he is thinking he is going to earn.
    - A borrower can use his MLF fund (if money is available) to repay his loan if he is experiencing difficulty. (This lowers his next credit limit).

    • Zidisha Volunteer
      Joost
      Noord Brabant, Netherlands

      Feb 8, 2018

      Today there were 10 new borrowers who where complaining on their comment page:
      - 2 didn’t understand that they had to pay a lifetime membership fee.
      - 8 increased their credit limit by doing a MLF payment and they didn’t understand why they received so little on their bank account.

      I have provided all of them with an an explanation and with advice to read the borrower FAQ and contact support.


      The comments they give are not nice to read for lenders. Like “ I am not going to pay”.

      I also expect that most of them will contact support to get a refund. So that’s a lot of work for Volunteers as well.

      That’s why in my eyes it’s a better idea to remove it from the loan request fase and move it to another place where the borrower intentionally can put money into the MLF to increase his credit limit. Or if this isn’t an option then it might be an option to let the borrowers fill in an number field with the amount he is going to receive.

      • Lender since 23 Jan 2015... Staff Member since 26 Mar 2015
        Laurie
        United States

        Feb 9, 2018

        Thank you for your help, Joost! :)

        Also, thank you so much for posting images showing that all of the fees still are shown publicly. Anytime all costs are not shown publicly, a Support Ticket (or an email from anyone without access to Support Tickets) should be sent in so that we could have the Technical Team take a look at those accounts.

        And I agree with you that handling the MLF differently probably would be beneficial. It still won't be popular, of course (but really the ones with whom good borrowers should be upset, are the borrowers who willfully refused to fulfill their obligation to lenders, despite being allowed to lower the installment to a very tiny amount whenever they may need to: www.zidisha.org/forum-threa...).

        The whole "feel" of Zidisha changed for borrowers, for lenders, and for the staff, when the MLF was implemented, and especially being administered the way that it currently is. It causes a lot of misunderstandings, a lot of negative comments from borrowers especially, and a lot of extra work (as you pointed out, and that is very true). Even though it's a small percentage of borrowers who misunderstand about it, these things damage morale, as nobody likes to see the kinds of negative comments we began receiving after the MLF deduction began happening, very often resulting in such a tiny Net Disbursement. (I think we never received "hate mail" before that; at least, I don't recall ever receiving anything terribly negative before that.)

        I certainly do understand why the MLF is necessary, but I agree with you that it probably would be better if it were handled differently... which I think probably would result in greater comprehension, less work immediately after batches of disbursements go out, and better morale among the entire Zidisha community (borrowers, lenders, and staff).

        It still would't be quite as good or exactly the same as before the MLF was created, but things could be better, I think, by handling it differently. I agree with you, Joost! :)

        • Zidisha Volunteer
          Joost
          Noord Brabant, Netherlands

          Feb 9, 2018

          I always give this kind of advice. (See screenshot)

          But the last few days the number of borrowers who are complaining is increasing.

          It might have to do something with the reduced number of loans (because of the wait list). The complaints are mostly from new borrowers.

        • Zidisha Volunteer
          Joost
          Noord Brabant, Netherlands

          Feb 9, 2018

          The fees are not always shown correctly.
          I think it goes wrong when a lender only pays his lifetime membership ship fee (so without the extra MLF payment).

          For example

        • Volunteer Mentor
          Fitri Fauziyah Machmud
          Kota Surabaya, Indonesia

          Feb 9, 2018

          I've made ticket asking that. The one answered it said that it's a bug and already resolved. I've reply my ticket and asked them to show on their cost detail about it. But still their cost still only service fee until now. Does this have anything to do with the time they apply the loan? Or does that happen only in Indonesian? I've seen your link that you provide last night Joost. Many of them are from outside Indonesia and their cost show the membership fee.

          Translated by Google     Show original

          I've made ticket asking that. The one answered it said that it's a bug and already resolved. I've reply my ticket and asked them to show on their cost detail about it. But still their cost still only service fee until now. Does this have anything to do with the time they apply the loan? Or does that happen only in Indonesian? I've seen your link that you provide last night Joost. Many of them are from outside Indonesia and their cost show the membership fee.


          Laurie and Duo Neka like this.
        • Zidisha Volunteer
          Joost
          Noord Brabant, Netherlands

          Feb 9, 2018

          @Fitri,
          The next few days I will make a list with those loans requests that are not displaying the correct costs. I will send them to you by mail so you can include it in your support ticket.

        • Zidisha Volunteer
          Joost
          Noord Brabant, Netherlands

          Feb 9, 2018

          @Laurie
          Thank you for all the great posts you did recently. It’s nice to understand why Zidisha is working like it does. I really appreciate it.

        • Lender since 23 Jan 2015... Staff Member since 26 Mar 2015
          Laurie
          United States

          Feb 9, 2018

          Yes, Fitri, definitely send in the information, preferably on the very *same* Support Ticket (if possible), anytime you're told that a technical issue has been fixed, but you discover that it apparently has recurred. That does happen sometimes, unfortunately! (I am not a programmer and don't know why. Joost is a programmer, though, so he probably understands.)

          Please always be patient for a reply, because of the small number of available staff members relative to the very large number of borrowers. Normal turnaround time, in the best of times, is up to three (3) business days (U.S. East-Coast Time-Zone), but sometimes can take even longer (sometimes significantly longer) when we are particularly short-staffed, which is the situation right now. Some replies still may be faster, but it cannot be guaranteed.

        • Lender since 23 Jan 2015... Staff Member since 26 Mar 2015
          Laurie
          United States

          Feb 9, 2018

          You're welcome; and thank you, too, Joost! I really appreciate all of *your* great posts. You're an asset to Zidisha! Thank you so much for being here. :-)

    • Martin Kimani Mwangi
      Bahati, Nakuru, Kenya

      Feb 10, 2018

      Hi Joost,
      That's the point I have always supported. I believe that our Director will consider establishing MFL on an independent section so that MFL becomes solely the option of those who willingly and understandably want to raise their credit limit. Thanks for your comprehensive, timely and supportive contributions on this platform. Best Regards.


      Joost likes this.

  • Volunteer Mentor
    Fitri Fauziyah Machmud
    Kota Surabaya, Indonesia

    Feb 4, 2018

    I hope you won't mind I share the information about the MLF information from the old forum. Actually Laurie is the one who make this list.

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/i...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/z...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/d...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/d...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/d...

    Translated by Google     Show original

    I hope you won't mind I share the information about the MLF information from the old forum. Actually Laurie is the one who make this list.

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/i...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/z...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/d...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/d...

    forum.zidisha.org/threads/d...


    Laurie, Mimin Munawaroh and Joost like this.
    • Lender since 23 Jan 2015... Staff Member since 26 Mar 2015
      Laurie
      United States

      Feb 4, 2018

      Pardon the duplicate posts and the typos over in the old Forum... ever since sometime in June 2016, much of the functionality over there unfortunately stopped working. The ability to edit posts, delete posts, and do other things that most of us used to be able to do over there, disappeared. The old Forum is hosted on a third-party platform (Xenforo) and despite efforts by our Director (and by our former Operations Coordinator, Alejandra) to get those issues repaired, Alejandra mentioned to me that they never were responsive. That's one of the reasons our Director created this new in-house Forum! Now, when a technical problem occurs in the Forum, our Technical Team (Julia and Rodrigo) would be able to repair it. :-)

      Lenders can report technical bugs affecting the Forum via email to "[email protected]".

      Borrowers can report technical issues affecting the Forum via a Support Ticket from within their Zidisha account.


      Su Rono and Duo Neka like this.
    • Lender since 23 Jan 2015... Staff Member since 26 Mar 2015
      Laurie
      United States

  • Joseph Saaquah
    Accra, Ghana

    Feb 4, 2018

    Dear Fitri Fauziyah Machmub, I don't see Laurie in here any more.I miss her very much.any news about her?


    Laurie likes this.

  • Lender since 23 Jan 2015... Staff Member since 26 Mar 2015
    Laurie
    United States

    Feb 4, 2018

    Hi, Joseph!

    Well, Zidisha has many tens of thousands of borrowers (actually, close to two-hundred thousand borrowers) and usually fewer than fifty on the entire Zidisha staff. Everyone except for two (our Director and our CTO) are volunteers and most don't work here every day. Also, most work for Zidisha only part-time hours on the days that they do work here. So, even that number means we're usually short-staffed. Since about September 2017, we've had only about thirty-five on staff; and since January 2018, we now have only about twenty-five. You can read more about that here: www.zidisha.org/forum-threa...

    So, those few of us who are available to work, stay *very* busy behind the scenes.
    We usually end our day (or night) quite exhausted!

    You all are missed, too! A person can do only so much, though... I hope you can forgive me and others who also are not in the Forum often anymore and who do more behind-the-scenes work on the platform these days. Speaking of which, I have to go now! :)

    I hope you are well!

    Best wishes,
    Laurie


  • Martin Kimani Mwangi
    Bahati, Nakuru, Kenya

    Feb 5, 2018

    Hi Laurie, I think Joost has a very pertinent issue regarding MFL. I also raised the same issue on this forum. I concur with Joost that this MFL should be the obligation of the borrower since its him/her who intends to increase the credit limit, of course based on ones financial need at any particular time. I suggest that your panel effect a policy change to that effect.


    Nathan Mureithi likes this.
    • Lender since 23 Jan 2015... Staff Member since 26 Mar 2015
      Laurie
      United States

      Feb 5, 2018

      Hi, Martin. The MLF *is* the obligation of the borrower.
      Please see: www.zidisha.org/forum-threa...

      Also, we don't have a panel. We all are members of the Zidisha community, whether staff members and/or lenders, or whether borrowers, who make suggestions individually (and sometimes others support our individual suggestions with "Likes" and/or comments, whether in the Forum and/or via other means of communication). All policy-change decisions are made by our Director.
      Please see: www.zidisha.org/forum-threa...


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