The Global Micro Lending Initiative:

"The only place poverty should be is in... museums."
-Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Laureate

Global Micro Lending

GML Resource Hub

Information and resources related to micro-lending, micro-loans, micro-investment, social finance, and peer to peer lending.

GML Mission Statement:

Everyone deserves access to a financial system which is fair, safe, and transparent. GML's mission is to foster connections between organizations which provide microlending and microfinance services.

Medical Financing

Although the United State of America is one of the wealthiest industrialized nations, the majority of its citizens find basic medical care difficult to afford. Microcredit and other alternative finance providers offer funding for many purposes, including medical treatments, cosmetic surgery, and even healthcare practice financing.

The U.S. health care system is notorious for overcharging patients for medical supplies, hospital stays, and medications. There are thousands of stories from people who have received medical bills with surprising charges. For patients with health insurance, their insurance companies are able to negotiate and reduce the overall cost of treatment. But for the uninsured, hospitals and staff are resistant to offer relief from price gouging directly. According to a 2011 study completed by The Commonwealth Fund, 40% of working age adults reported having trouble paying their medical bills. In 2013, almost 2 million people filed for bankruptcy due to unpaid medical bills. Applying for a medical loan gives patients the ability to afford medical treatment. Medical financing can prevent you from defaulting on medical bills and can bring harassing collection calls to a halt. As an added benefit, a medical loan can protect your credit score from being damaged. The Global Microlending Initiative helps borrowers with medical debt discover whether refinancing unpaid medical bills can work to their advantage.

Heath care providers cover emergency care costs for patients in life threatening situations, but perceive it differently when a patient chooses to undergo medical procedures for cosmetic or elective reasons. If a procedure is considered elective, then the patient is often unable to receive any reimbursement from their health insurance company. This hasn't stopped women from getting breast augmentations though. More than 286,000 women did in 2014. The minimally invasive Botox procedure has also been popular, even among men, with more than 410,000 males undergoing the procedure in 2014. Individuals are using cosmetic surgery loans to pay for the corrective procedures of their choice. It is also common for health insurance providers to take the stance that dental procedures are elective. Despite the fact that serious illnesses can be caused by lack of proper dental hygiene, checkups with the dentist are not covered under standard policies. Thankfully, dental financing can pay for all dental expenses, from teeth cleaning and whitening, to root canals.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is another type of operation that isn't paid for by most health insurance policies. Health insurance providers take the view that IVF is unreliable and not worth the expense. There are many causes for couples to be unable to naturally conceive a child: endometriosis, low sperm counts, and general ovulation problems to name a few. Due to the gap in coverage, online lenders are offering medical loans for IVF to pay for IVF testing, reproductive doctors, and all related medical expenses. A recent study discovered that in 2013 almost 175,000 IVF cycles were conducted, an increase of 65% from 2003.

Alternative medicine is another area of medical practice typically not covered by insurance policies. Patients searching for a cure are looking for new ways to pay for alternative medical treatments. Financing for alternative medicine is available for individuals to pay for holistic healthcare from chiropractors, acupuncturists, and nutritionists. The rise in popularity of procedures not covered by insurance plans proves the need for online lenders to continue providing alternative medical financing benefits.

When an illness hits, people with low incomes or with temporary financial hardships find themselves applying for high interest loans or simply refusing medical care. Microfinancing offers these borrowers affordable credit and saving plans so more of the American population can avoid having to make unhealthy, and in some cases, deadly financial decisions.

Microlenders can also provide funding to medical professionals to put towards owning their own medical practice. Medical practice financing provides capital for doctors and physicians to purchase an existing medical practice, for buying office improvements, or to start a new clinic. Unless there's a chance to move up within their current job, an independent career in medicine is usually more profitable for medical practitioners and specialists. Microfinance institutions are providing funding to doctors, registered nurses, and all medical professional entrepreneurs.