Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Addiction to Microcredit: An Obstacle to Social and Financial Mobility

Peprah, James Atta and Koomson, Isaac (2014): Addiction to Microcredit: An Obstacle to Social and Financial Mobility.

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Contrary to the confidence in the ability of microfinance to uplift the poor on the social structure so that upon reaching a higher echelon, the poor (clients) will be able to save and borrow from formal financial institutions (FFIs), most of the poor and socially vulnerable have now become addicted to micro-credit due to demand and supply-side factors. What could be the possible causes of this micro-credit addiction? The objective of this paper was to unravel the causes of what we call “microcredit addiction” and provide recommendations that will enable the addicted clients to break away from this craving. The paper reviews literature on social and financial impact of microfinance and finds that failure of microfinance in the delivery of its core mandate of poverty reduction results in clients’ addiction to micro-credit and, eventually, inhibits their social and financial mobility. The upscaling intentions of MFIs, compulsory savings, high interest rates and transactions costs, multiple borrowing, client’s inability to save for the future and, surprisingly, clients’ satisfaction with MFIs’ products and services are among the factors that make clients get addicted to micro-credit.

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