Student Debt and Default: The Role of For-Profit Colleges
For-profit providers have become an important fixture of U.S. higher education markets. Students who attend for-profit institutions take on more educational debt and are more likely to default on their student loans than those attending similarly selective public schools. Because for-profits tend to serve students from more disadvantaged backgrounds, it is important to isolate the causal effect of for-profit enrollment on student debt and repayment outcomes as well as the educational and labor market mechanisms that drive any such effects. We approach this problem using a novel instrument ...
The Behavioral Relationship Between Mortgage Prepayment and Default
An implication of the dual trigger theory of default is that mortgage borrowers who experience an unexpected financial reverse will prepay their mortgage rather than default if their equity in the house is positive. We test this idea with a new data set created by matching mortgage servicing records and credit bureau records to classify prepayments by what happens subsequently. In particular, we can identify a subset of prepayments that seems consistent with the dual trigger theory. If the theory is correct, these prepayments should exhibit similarities to defaults in the data set rather than ...
On the Move: Mortgage Basics
Buying a home is a major financial decision, and for young people in particular the entire process can seem overwhelming. Learn about mortgages and the steps people can take early in life to prepare themselves financially to buy a home, in this February 2022 issue of Page One Economics: Focus on Finance.
What Might Happen When Student Loan Forbearance Ends?
Federal student loan relief was recently extended through August 31, 2022, marking the sixth extension during the pandemic. Such debt relief includes the suspension of student loan payments, a waiver of interest, and the stopping of collections activity on defaulted loans. The suspension of student loan payments was expected to help 41 million borrowers save an estimated $5 billion per month. This post is the first in a two-part series exploring the implications and distributional consequences of policies that aim to address the student debt burden. Here, we focus on the uneven consequences ...
Are All CLOs Equal?
Asset securitization is an important source of corporate funding in capital markets. Collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) are securitization structures that allow syndicated bank lenders and bond underwriters to repackage business loans and sell them to investors as securities. CLOs are actively overseen by a collateral manager that has the responsibility to trade loans in the portfolio to benefit from gains and mitigate losses from credit exposures. Because CLOs include a diverse portfolio of loans, a single firm that commingles its lending role with the collateral management role can reap ...
When Nations Don't Pay Their Debts
Features article: When Nations Don't Pay Their Debts: What happens when countries can't or won't repay
How Large are Default Spillovers in the U.S. Financial System?
When a financial firm defaults on its counterparties, the counterparties may in turn become unable to pay their own creditors, and so on. This domino effect can quickly propagate through the financial system, creating undesirable spillovers and unnecessary defaults. In this post, the authors use the framework discussed in the first post of this two-part series to answer the question: How vulnerable is the U.S. financial system to default spillovers?
Endogenous Leverage and Default in the Laboratory
We study default and endogenous leverage in the laboratory. To this purpose, we develop a general equilibrium model of collateralized borrowing amenable to laboratory implementation and gather experimental data. In the model, leverage is endogenous: agents choose how much to borrow using a risky asset as collateral, and there are no ad hoc collateral constraints. When the risky asset is financial?namely, its payoff does not depend on ownership (such as a bond)? collateral requirements are high and there is no default. In contrast, when the risky asset is nonfinancial?namely, its payoff ...
Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes
Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents turning to federal and private loans to pay for higher education. An earlier post in this series reported that borrowers in majority Black areas have higher student loan ...
The Persistence of Financial Distress
Using recently available proprietary panel data, we show that while many (35%) US consumers experience financial distress at some point in the life cycle, most of the events of financial distress are primarily concentrated in a much smaller proportion of consumers in persistent trouble. Roughly 10% of consumers are distressed for more than a quarter of the life cycle, and less than 10% of borrowers account for half of all distress events. These facts can be largely accounted for in a straightforward extension of a workhorse model of defaultable debt that accommodates a simple form of ...