Information Costs and the Organization of Credit Markets: A Theory of Indirect Lending
This paper explains indirect lending as a strategy for reducing a bank's cost of screening borrowers. Commercial banks appear to "ration" credit by rejecting some direct loan applicants, although they accept higher-risk borrowers who apply for loans indirectly through retailers. However, the more thorough credit check on direct loans causes applicants to sort themselves according to risk. Indirect applicants signal their higher risk through their choice of financing. Since banks gather more accurate information on direct applicants, the two types of contracts should differ in predictable ways. These implications are tested with Federal Reserve data on 5,000 automobile loans. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 28 (1990)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
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