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What Is Microcredit? – Works, Micro-Loan Terms, and More

What Is Microcredit?

Microcredit is a common form of microfinance that involves a minimal loan given to individuals to help them become self-employed or grow a small business.

These borrowers tend to be low-income individuals, especially from less developed countries (LDCs). Microcredit is also known as “microlending” or “microloan.”

How Microcredit Works?


  • Microcredit builds on the idea that skilled people in underdeveloped countries live outside. What Are Bollinger Bands? – Chart, Day Trading Uptrends, and More
    traditional banking.
  • And monetary systems could gain entry into an economy through the assistance of a small loan. The people to whom such microcredit offer may live in barter systems were no actual currency exchange.
  • Modern microcredit typically attributes to the Grameen Bank model, developed by economist Muhammad Yunus. This system started in Bangladesh in 1976, with a group of women borrowing $27 to finance the group’s small businesses. The women repaid the loan and were able to sustain the business.
  • The women in Bangladesh who received microcredit did not have money to purchase the materials they needed to make the bamboo stools that they would, in turn, sell.
  • And at the same time, each borrower would be too risky to lend to on their own. By borrowing as a group, the initial financing gave them the resources to begin production, understanding that the loan would pay overtime as they brought in revenue.
  • And also, microloans can range from as small as $10 to $100 and rarely exceed $2,000.
  • The structure of microcredit arrangements frequently differs from traditional banking. And wherein collateral may require or other terms established to guarantee repayment. There might not be a written agreement at all.
  • In some instances, the microcredit guarantee agrees with the members of the borrower’s community. It would expect to compel the borrower to work toward repaying the debt.
  • As borrowers successfully pay off their microcredits, they may become eligible for loans of larger and larger amounts.

Micro-Loan Terms of Microcredit

  1. Like conventional lenders, micro-financiers must charge interest on loans, and they institute specific repayment plans with payments due at regular intervals.
  2. Some lenders require loan recipients to set aside a part of their income in a savings account. It can be used as insurance if the customer defaults. If the borrower repays the loan successfully, then they have just accrued extra savings.
  3. Because many applicants cannot offer collateral, microlenders often pool borrowers together as a buffer.
  4. After receiving loans, recipients repay their debts together. Because the program’s success depends on everyone’s contributions. This creates a form of peer pressure that can help to ensure repayment.
  5. For example, if an individual is having trouble using his or her money to start a business, that person can seek help from other group members or the loan officer.
  6. Through repayment, loan recipients begin to develop a good credit history, which allows them to obtain larger loans in the future.
  7. Interestingly, although these borrowers often qualify as very poor, repayment amounts on microloans are often higher than the average repayment rate on more conventional forms of financing.
  8. For example, the microfinancing institution Opportunity International reported repayment rates of approximately 98.9% in 2016.

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Critiques of Microcredit

  • There have been criticisms of microcredit and the way it can be misused. For example, in South Africa, microcredit introduces some of the most impoverished communities to encourage people to pursue self-employment.
  • However, in some instances, the way it introduces led to the funds expend through consumption spending rather than the establishment. Or furthering any form of business or employment activity.
  • Also, the borrowers may find themselves with a magnitude of debt they cannot repay, even with the small-scale loans offered through microcredit.
  • The problem is that the borrowers may not have a steady income source. They plan to use microcredit to create an income source that would allow them to pay back the financing.
  • As a result, some borrowers have resorted to selling off personal property and seeking new financing to cover their previous microcredit.


Microcredit is a method of lending tiny sums to individuals to start or expand a small business.

Microcredit borrowers tend to be low-income individuals living in parts of the developing world. And also, the practice originated in its modern form in Bangladesh.

Most microcredit schemes rely on a group borrowing model, initially developed by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank.

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