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Abstract

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the impact of selected socioeconomic factors on microlending in the Alabama Black Belt. It used logistic regression to identify the link between borrower socioeconomic characteristics and loan repayment rate from existing and previous microloan programs. It was hypothesized that borrower gender, age, level of education, household income, and credit score has a major impact on loan repayment. The results of study indicated that only credit score had a statistically significant effect on loan repayment. This finding underscores the importance of credit score and credit repair management in existing microloan programs, given the socioeconomic characteristics of microloan program participants in the Alabama Black Belt. It was recommended that microloan programs should incorporate the requisite personal finance management outreach and Extension components due to the need to rebuild credit for those interested in microloans for personal or business use.

Keywords: Black Belt, Microlending, Socioeconomic Characteristics