On a world wide scale, many borrowers apply for short term credit products and services. The microfinancial market is responsible for serving millions of borrowers who are otherwise excluded from traditional financial services. The gap between credit worthy borrowers and non credit worthy borrowers is narrowing. Currently, only one out of three people in the world is financially literate. From 2011 to 2014, the number of men who have an account with a financial institution rose over 9%. For women, this number rose by more than 10%. Short term credit providers supply working class citizens who are going through cash flow shortages with a chance to make an informed financial choice. Borrowers who have the ability to build savings, own a house, and manage a budget can participate in economies and realize their full potential. Slowly, MFIs and microborrowers are removing the barrier which stops them from becoming financially literate.
Like with any contract, sticking to the rules is crucial for both the lender and borrower. Some short term creditors charge expensive "roll over" fees every two weeks, which borrowers should avoid. Others offer a more borrower-friendly installment loan for the short term or until the borrower's next payday, with fixed loan rates and without any hidden fees. The most important thing is for borrowers not to be surprised by unexpected fees and to read and understand carefully the loan terms to which they are agreeing. Confusion around loan terms has led the lending industry as a whole to be criticized, which, in turn, can reduce access to capital for borrowers and make loans more expensive to offer. A careful balance must be struck in measuring the world's microfinance institutions' performance, especially in developing nations, with an eye toward gleaning insights into both borrower and lender standards and practices. Similar to building a credit history, MFIs are building a foundation based upon their operating principles.