QCOSTARICA – The Costa Rican Microfinance Association (Asociación Costarricense de Microfinanzas) estimates that annually 60,000 people in Costa Rica are exposed to being victims of informal loans or better known as “gota a gota” loans, which easy payments and high interest.
The experts indicate that, with the entry into force of the Usury Law (Ley contra la Usura) two years ago, the most affected sectors have been the most vulnerable populations, such as women, those without a credit history, and inhabitants of rural areas.
Mónica Navarro, the representative of the association, pointed out that 12% of microcredit applications are rejected annually, pushing people into loans that end up leaving them in a more vulnerable situation.
Navarro called on the Legislative Assembly to promote legislation that corrects the regulations that today have produced financial exclusion.
The expert indicates that only during the first six months of 2022, some 204 victims of extortion filed complaints with the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ).
The National Household Survey of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses – Encuesta Nacional de Hogares del Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC), confirms that 75% of the rural population would be financially excluded from a traditional banking product, according to their income profile.