Micro finance institutions and projects frequently highlight publicly the fact that large increases in the number of borrowers, is clear evidence that loans are working successfully. The argument used here is often that if people were not making a success out of the loans, then others would not be so interested in borrowing.

This though is a somewhat simplified interpretation, according to critics, because there is little basis for claiming that any increases in the number of borrowing individuals, reflects a reduction in poverty levels. Here, critics say that the large demand for credit is a symptom of poverty itself, and is often not a sign of a healthy household economy. Critics say further on this point, that if poverty is being solved, than why is there such a need for credit to cover basic household costs?

The very large increase in credit demand is very convenient for financial institutions, say critics, as the more borrowers there are, the more income generated on loans through interest rates, and the more secure and cheaper the administration costs of the projects themselves. Basically, loan projects have to expand their loan portfolios due to uncertainties and rising collection and administration costs. In support of loans however, large increases in the number of women borrowing can certainly boost rural community and household economies, and provide very valuable funding for short and medium term investments.

Lånenes popularitet
Mikrofinans-institutioner og -projekter fremhæver ofte, at en øget efterspørgsel på individuelle lån er bevis på, at konceptet virker efter hensigten.

Argumentet er, at hvis låntagerne ikke havde succes, ville andre ikke være interesseret i at optage lån.

Kritikere mener, det er forsimplet at udlede, at en øget efterspørgsel efter lån reflekterer en reduktion i fattigdommen. I stedet peger de på, at ønsket om lån i langt højere grad er et symptom på fattigdom – altså at folk ikke har andre muligheder.