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Author:Ritter, Dubravka 

Report
Back in the Loan Game: What Can We Expect from the Student Loan Payment Resumption?

The student loan repayment landscape has evolved rapidly, with many borrowers resuming payments for the first time since the payment pause began in April 2020. In this Special Report, we analyze current publicly available payments data and share insights from a July 2023 survey by the Consumer Finance Institute (CFI).
Consumer Finance Institute Research Briefs and Special Reports

Working Paper
Navigating Higher Education Insurance: An Experimental Study on Demand and Adverse Selection"

We conduct a survey-based experiment with 2,776 students at a non-profit university to analyze income insurance demand in education financing. We offered students a hypothetical choice: either a federal loan with income-driven repayment or an income-share agreement (ISA), with randomized framing of downside protections. Emphasizing income insurance increased ISA uptake by 43%. We observe that students are responsive to changes in contract terms and possible student loan cancellation, which is evidence of preference adjustment or adverse selection. Our results indicate that framing specific ...
Working Papers , Paper 24-07

Working Paper
IDENTITY THEFT AS A TEACHABLE MOMENT

SUPERCEDES 14-28. This paper examines how a negative shock to the security of personal finances due to severe identity theft changes consumer credit behavior. Using a unique data set of linked consumer credit data and alerts indicating identity theft, we show that the immediate effects of fraud on consumers are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent, positive changes in credit characteristics, including improved risk scores (indicating lower default risk). We argue that these changes are consistent with ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-27

Discussion Paper
Modern Income-Share Agreements in Postsecondary Education: Features, Theory, Applications

An income-share agreement (ISA) in postsecondary education is a contract in which students pledge to pay a certain percentage of their future incomes over a set period of time in exchange for funding educational program expenses in the present. Typically, participants begin to make payments once their incomes rise above a minimum threshold set by the terms of the ISA and will never pay more than a set cap (usually, a multiple of the original amount). Funding for ISAs can range from university sources to philanthropic funding and private investor capital. In this study, we describe the many ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 19-6

Discussion Paper
Consumer use of fraud alerts and credit freezes: an empirical analysis

Fraud alerts ? initial fraud alerts, extended fraud alerts, and credit freezes ? help protect consumers from the consequences of identity theft. At the same time, they may impose costs on lenders, credit bureaus, and, in some instances, consumers. We analyze a unique data set of anonymized credit bureau files to understand how consumers use these alerts. We document the frequency and persistence of fraud alerts and credit freezes. Using the experience of the data breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue, we show that consumers who file initial fraud alerts or credit freezes likely ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 14-4

Report
Summary of the Symposium on Institutions of Higher Education: Financial Viability and COVID-19

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Consumer Finance Institute (CFI) held a virtual symposium on May 12, 2021, on the topic of financial health and stability of higher education institutions. The symposium included three panel discussions as well as remarks from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick T. Harker on fiscal pressures experienced by colleges and universities, especially in light of the pandemic. Participants also discussed what is on the horizon for higher education, a sector of great importance to the U.S. economy.
Consumer Finance Institute conference summaries

Discussion Paper
Fair lending analysis of credit cards

This paper discusses some of the key fair lending risks that can arise in various stages of the marketing, acquisition, and management of credit card accounts, and the analysis that can be employed to manage such risks. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and its implementing Regulation B prohibit discrimination in all aspects of credit transactions and include specific provisions relating to processes that employ credit scoring models. This paper discusses some of the areas of credit card operations that may be assessed in an effort to manage the risk of noncompliance with fair lending ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 14-2

Working Paper
Identity theft as a teachable moment

This paper examines how instances of identity theft that are sufficiently severe to induce consumers to place an extended fraud alert in their credit reports affect their risk scores, delinquencies, and other credit bureau variables on impact and thereafter. We show that for many consumers these effects are relatively small and transitory. However, for a significant number of consumers, especially those with lower risk scores prior to the event, there are more persistent and generally positive effects on credit bureau variables, including risk scores. We argue that these positive changes for ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-28

Working Paper
Do student loan borrowers opportunistically default? Evidence from bankruptcy reform

Bankruptcy reform in 2005 eliminated debtors? ability to discharge private student loan debt in bankruptcy. This law aimed to reduce costly defaults by diminishing the perceived incentive of some private student loan borrowers to declare bankruptcy even if they had sufficient income to service their debt. Using a unique, nationally representative sample of anonymized credit bureau files, we examine the bankruptcy filing and delinquency rates of private student loan borrowers in response to the 2005 bankruptcy reform. We do not find evidence that the nondischargeability provision reduced the ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-17

Discussion Paper
Consumer financial protection regulations: how do they measure up?

The Payment Cards Center's September 2012 policy conference advanced the discussion of targeted design and outcome measurement as central features of public policy in the area of consumer financial protections. Speakers considered regulations addressing the disclosure of credit terms; standards for assessing the unfairness, deceptiveness, and abusiveness of lending acts or practices; the management of revolving credit accounts; and the challenges of analyzing consumer complaints in the context of consumer financial protections. The concluding panel discussed unanswered questions and research ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 14-5

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