Working Paper

Important Factors Determining Fintech Loan Default: Evidence from the LendingClub Consumer Platform


Abstract: This study examines key default determinants of fintech loans, using loan-level data from the LendingClub consumer platform during 2007–2018. We identify a robust set of contractual loan characteristics, borrower characteristics, and macroeconomic variables that are important in determining default. We find an important role of alternative data in determining loan default, even after controlling for the obvious risk characteristics and the local economic factors. The results are robust to different empirical approaches. We also find that homeownership and occupation are important factors in determining default. Lenders, however, are required to demonstrate that these factors do not result in any unfair credit decisions. In addition, we find that personal loans used for medical financing or small business financing are more risky than other personal loans, holding the same characteristics of the borrowers. Government support through various public-private programs could potentially make funding more accessible to those in need of medical services and small businesses without imposing excessive risk to small peer-to-peer (P2P) investors.

Keywords: crowdfunding; lasso selection methods; peer-to-peer lending; household finance; machine learning; financial innovation; big data; P2P/marketplace lending;

JEL Classification: G21; D14; D10; G29; G20;

https://doi.org/10.21799/frbp.wp.2020.15

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2020-04-16

Number: 20-15

Pages: 54