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A Trillion Dollar Question: What Predicts Student Loan Delinquencies?
The recent significant increase in student loan delinquencies has generated interest in understanding the key factors predicting the non-performance of these loans. However, despite the large size of the student loan market, existing analyses have been limited by data. This paper studies predictors of student loan delinquencies using a nationally representative panel dataset that anonymously combines individual credit bureau records with Pell Grant and Federal student loan recipient information, records on college enrollment, graduation and major, and school characteristics. We show that ...
On Intergenerational Immobility : Evidence that Adult Credit Health Reflects the Childhood Environment
Using a novel dataset that links socioeconomic background to future credit, postsecondary education, and federal student loan and grant records, we document that, even though it is not and cannot be used by credit agencies in assigning risk, background is a strong predictor of adult credit health. A relationship remains upon inclusion of achievement, attainment, and debt management metrics. These findings reveal a new dimension along which childhood circumstances persist into adulthood and imply that the many important contexts in which credit scores are relied upon to evaluate individuals ...
Growing Up without Finance
Early-life exposure to local financial institutions increases household financial inclusion and leads to long-term improvements in consumer credit outcomes. We identify the effect of local financial markets using congressional legislation that led to large and unintended differences in financial market development across Native American reservations. Individuals who grow up on financially underdeveloped reservations enter formal credit markets later than individuals from financially developed reservations and have persistently worse consumer credit outcomes (10 point lower credit scores and a ...
A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score
What is the role of credit scores in credit markets? We argue that it is a stand-in for a market assessment of a person’s unobservable type (which here we take to be patience). We pose a model of persistent hidden types where observable actions shape the public assessment of a person’s type via Bayesian updating. We show how dynamic reputation can incentivize repayment without monetary costs of default beyond the administrative cost of filing for bankruptcy. Importantly, we show how an economy with credit scores implements the same equilibrium allocation. We estimate the model using both ...