This article explores an unexpected and overlooked consequence of the expansion of microcredit: how it interacts with migration patterns. Drawing on qualitative research in northwest Cambodia, this study explores the uses, meanings and implications of ‘migra-loans’ — microcredit loans that are used in tandem with household strategies of international migration. Using microcredit in combination with migration allows households to immediately meet consumption goals and utilize the credit being actively promoted by microfinance institutions, while also retreating from insecure and less profitable local livelihood strategies. These strategies problematize expectations about the developmental potential of microcredit, and highlight the importance of local context in framing rural livelihood choices.