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Hi janj, I am not familiar with any place where debt is not used in some form or another. (See http://www.amazon.com/Portfolios-Poor-How-Worlds-Live/dp/069... for a really thorough exposition of the variety of debt strategies low-income households use to manage their finances.)

The main alternatives to debt that I am aware of are forms of Islamic financing, such as rent-to-own and profit-sharing models. We have explored the possibility of offering a profit-sharing financing product, but failed to come up with a feasible way of implementing such a model. The successful implementations of profit-sharing models seem to rely on strong information verification systems and intensive interaction with local staff, which we as an online service cannot offer.




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