Credit with Education

Credit with Education is a methodology for group-based poverty lending integrated with simple, relevant, high-impact learning in better business management, health, and family financial management. This model builds on the village banking methodology by integrating financial services and dialogue-based adult education typically using the same field agent to deliver both services. Freedom from Hunger’s method of implementing village banking depends on active participation by the clients. Members are expected to manage the individual and group accounting functions, the assessment and determination of loan applications, the meeting procedures, and the solution/decision-making for problems and issues that arise in the normal functioning of their village banks. Field agents are specifically trained to facilitate the process. The education, or learning session, is delivered in a 20-30-minute segment in the course of each regular village bank meeting. The field agent facilitates the session using the same skills necessary for establishing clients’ self-management of their group. For this reason, the preparation of the field agent to serve as the facilitator of the education only requires additional training on the content of the sessions. The content for these learning sessions is available from Freedom from Hunger, thereby eliminating the need for institutions to invest in costly development of their own materials. Because a single field agent delivers both the education and financial services, the marginal costs of providing the education are low. Because the education sessions are kept short, the field agents are able to attend to the same number of groups as field agents not offering education. Institutions may also choose to offer education through staff dedicated specifically to this purpose. Although this is a higher cost strategy, it still takes advantage of the groups’ regular meetings and allows for the specialization of staff.

Related Resources


Over the past two decades, Freedom from Hunger has developed training and technical assistance packages to support organizations in implementing Credit with Education. These packages are designed for two types of institutions:

  • Institutions already offering a group-based lending product that wish to integrate education
  • Institutions with experience in individual lending that wish to begin a group-based lending product with education. Freedom from Hunger currently offers workshops on the following topics:
  • Integration and implementation of education
  • Supervision of integrated Credit with Education programs
  • Training of trainers in education module content
  • Design of Credit with Education product
  • Credit with Education Loan Officer training
  • Evaluation of outcomes
  • Additional information

    Freedom from Hunger currently has offices in Burkina Faso, Ecuador, India, Mali, Mexico, Peru and Davis, California. We often work with national or international networks to convene groups of institutions for training. We also can train networks to support their members in the implementation of Credit with Education.

    Cross-cutting issues

    Livelihoods, Microfinance


    • India
    • Madagascar
    • Peru
    • Benin
    • Bolivia
    • Burkina Faso
    • Ecuador
    • Ghana
    • Guatemala
    • Haiti
    • Honduras
    • Mali
    • Mexico
    • Philippines
    • South Africa
    • Togo
    • Vietnam


    • Economic Recovery and Development
    • Education
    Project Website