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Not Cashing In on Cashing Out: An Analysis of Low Cash-Out Refinance Rates
Lowering a borrower’s interest rate is one of the most effective ways to reduce a borrower’s debt burden. Mortgage refinancing offers a chance to shift debt balances from high-interest loans into a low-interest mortgage through “cashing out” some of the home’s equity. Borrowers could reduce their monthly payments by up to 13 percent by folding a student loan with a 6 percent interest rate into a mortgage with a 3 percent interest rate. Using anonymized data on mortgage refinancing behavior, we find that over half of borrowers with high-interest loans and available home equity do not ...
The Rise and Fall of Consumption in the 2000s
U.S. consumption has gone through steep ups and downs since the turn of the millennium, but the causes of these fluctuations are still imperfectly identified. We quantify the relative impact on consumption growth of income, unemployment, house prices, credit scores, debt, expectations, foreclosures, inequality, and refinancings for four subperiods: the ?dot-com recession? (2001-2003), the ?subprime boom? (2004-2006), the Great Recession (2007-2009), and the ?tepid recovery? (2010-2012). We document that the explanatory power of different factors varies by subperiods, implying that a ...
How Much Are Car Purchases Driven by Home Equity Withdrawal?
Previous research indicates that changes in housing wealth affect consumer spending on cars. We find that home equity extraction plays only a small role in this relationship. Consumers rarely use funds from equity extraction to purchase a car directly, even during the mid-2000s housing boom; this finding holds across three nationally representative household surveys. We find in credit bureau data that equity extraction does lead to a statistically significant increase in auto loan originations, consistent with equity extraction easing borrowing constraints in the auto loan market. This ...