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Keywords:credit scores 

Working Paper
Villains or Scapegoats? The Role of Subprime Borrowers in Driving the U.S. Housing Boom

An expansion in mortgage credit to subprime borrowers is widely believed to have been a principal driver of the 2002–2006 U.S. house price boom. By contrast, this paper documents a robust, negative correlation between the growth in the share of purchase mortgages to subprime borrowers and house price appreciation at the county-level during this time. Using two different instrumental variables approaches, we also establish causal evidence that house price appreciation lowered the share of purchase loans to subprime borrowers. Further analysis using micro-level credit bureau data shows that ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013

Working Paper
Foreclosure Kids: Examining the Early Adult Credit Usage of Adolescents Affected by Foreclosure

We investigate the long-term effects of foreclosure-induced relocations on adolescents and their subsequent use of credit. We ask whether individuals who experience a foreclosure-induced move between the ages of 10 and 17 are more likely to exhibit signs of credit scarring later in life. To establish a set of counterfactual outcomes, we implement propensity score matching with exact matching on certain characteristics and regression adjustment of the remaining covariate imbalances. We then compare the credit behavior of individuals who experienced a foreclosure-induced move in adolescence to ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-21

Newsletter
How Similar Are Credit Scores Across Generations?

With the rise in economic inequality in the United States in recent decades, there has been growing concern about whether there is a sufficient degree of equality of opportunity in our society. Policymakers and researchers alike often focus on studies of intergenerational mobility as a way of assessing opportunity. These studies typically analyze distinct aspects of socioeconomic status, such as income, education, occupational status, and health, and measure the association in these outcomes between parents and their adult children.1 If the association (level of similarity) is very high, then ...
Chicago Fed Letter

Discussion Paper
Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Face the Most Financial Strain?

In yesterday's post, we studied the expected debt relief from the CARES Act on mortgagors and student debt borrowers. We now turn our attention to the 63 percent of American borrowers who do not have a mortgage or student loan. These borrowers will not directly benefit from the loan forbearance provisions of the CARES Act, although they may be able to receive some types of leniency that many lenders have voluntarily provided. We ask who these borrowers are, by age, geography, race and income, and how does their financial health compare with other borrowers.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200819

Journal Article
Addressing Traditional Credit Scores as a Barrier to Accessing Affordable Credit

Affordable credit enables consumers to better manage their finances, cope with unexpected emergencies, and pursue opportunities such as entrepreneurship or higher education. However, many consumers face difficulties obtaining the credit they need. A major impediment is lenders’ reliance on traditional credit scores to assess consumers’ creditworthiness. These credit scores affect not only loan approval decisions but also the interest rates consumers pay on their loans. While credit scores are intended to help lenders make informed decisions about consumers’ risk of default, they do not ...
Economic Review , Volume vol. 108 , Issue no. 3 , Pages 22

Working Paper
BORROWER CREDIT ACCESS AND CREDIT PERFORMANCE AFTER LOAN MODIFICATIONS

While the preventive effect of loan modifications on mortgage default has been well-documented, evidence on the broad consequences of modifications has been fairly limited. Based on two unique loan-level data sets with borrower credit profiles, this study reports novel empirical evidence on how homeowners manage their credit before and after receiving modifications. The paper has several main findings. First, loan modifications improve borrowers? overall credit standing and access to credit. Modifications that provide principal reduction, rate reduction, or greater payment relief, as well as ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-26

Working Paper
The Unintended Consequences of Employer Credit Check Bans on Labor and Credit Markets

Since the Great Recession, 11 states have restricted employers? access to the credit reports of job applicants. We document that county-level vacancies decline between 9.5 percent and 12.4 percent after states enact these laws. Vacancies decline significantly in affected occupations but remain constant in those that are exempt, and the decline is larger in counties with many subprime residents. Furthermore, subprime borrowers fall behind on more debt payments and reduce credit inquiries postban. The evidence suggests that, counter to their intent, employer credit check bans disrupt labor and ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1625

Newsletter
Mortgage Refinancing during the Great Recession: The Role of Credit Scores

This article examines whether deteriorating credit scores may have posed a barrier to mortgage refinancing during the Great Recession of 2008?09 and its immediate aftermath. The authors find that in general, as long as borrowers kept up with their mortgage payments, their credit scores did not fall significantly over this period. Hence, credit scores are not likely to explain why certain borrowers with sufficient home equity did not refinance their mortgages.
Chicago Fed Letter

Working Paper
The Unintended Consequences of Employer Credit Check Bans on Labor and Credit Markets

Since the Great Recession, 11 states have restricted employers' access to the credit reports of job applicants. We document that county-level vacancies decline between 9.5 percent and 12.4 percent after states enact these laws. Vacancies decline significantly in affected occupations but remain constant in those that are exempt, and the decline is larger in counties with many subprime residents. Furthermore, subprime borrowers fall behind on more debt payments and reduce credit inquiries postban. The evidence suggests that, counter to their intent, employer credit check bans disrupt labor and ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-25R2

Working Paper
Nudging credit scores in the field: the effect of text reminders on creditworthiness in the United States

Given the fundamental role that credit scores play in day-to-day life in the United States, it is very important to understand what can be done to help individuals improve their credit scores. This question is important in general, and especially important for the low-to-moderate-income (LMI) individuals who likely have a greater need for access to liquidity than higher-income individuals. In this paper the authors report results from a field experiment conducted between early 2013 and early 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts, with LMI taxpayers who were offered credit advising services. Taxpayers ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-2

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