Repayment behaviour in credit and savings cooperative societies: Empirical and theoretical evidence from rural Rwanda
Malimba Musafiri Papias
Purpose – Like other developing countries, Rwandan rural credit market is repressed, shallow, segmented, inefficient and dual structured where both formal and informal financial systems operate side by side. While the later has been playing a predominant role, cooperative societies have emerged as an apt method of increasing the delivery of formal rural credit and savings facilities on sustainable and non-exploitative terms albeit of financial imprudence stemming from poor credit repayment records. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine the factors contributing to credit repayment behaviour among the members of savings and credit cooperative societies in rural Rwanda. Design/methodology/approach – Both exploratory and descriptive designs are used for primary data collection on variables contributing to the repayment behaviour in savings and cooperative societies. Thereafter, a binary logistic regression empirical model is employed to estimate the contribution of each variable to credit repayment rate. Findings – The results from the tested empirical model show that age, gender and size of the household, purpose for credit, interest rate charges and number of official visits to the credit societies, have a strong effect on loan repayment performance (statistically significant at p<0.05) whereas size of credit disbursed, credit processing and disbursing time, borrowers' market place and income transfer from relatives and friends are more or less statistically significant at p<0.20 level. The remaining factors have logical and explainable sings but are not statistically significant. Research limitations/implications – The primary limitation of this study is the scope and size of its sample as well as absence of income factor as one of important variable influencing repayment behaviour. These limitations may have an effect on the lending policy of the cooperative banks. Originality/value – An understanding of the socio-economic factors affecting repayment behaviour of rural clients is essential for the outreach and sustainability of the mushrooming cooperative societies in the country. Hence, this paper contributes to the empirical literature on the provision of rural financial services in African countries south of Sahara and Rwanda in particular.
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