Lines of Credit and Consumption Smoothing: The Choice between Credit Cards and Home Equity Lines of Credit
The author models the choice between credit cards and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) within a framework where consumers hold lines of credit as instruments of consumption smoothing across state and time. Flexible repayment schemes for lines of credit induce risk-averse consumers with sufficiently high discount rates to underinsure and hold lines of credit instead as a buffer, even when they have access to full and fair insurance markets. Weighing the fixed upfront fees and higher default costs of HELOCs against the advantages of low and income-tax-deductible interest payments, the author finds a threshold level of potential borrowing belowwhich consumers prefer to use credit cards exclusively. Above that threshold, consumers decide touse HELOCs and consolidate all outstanding credit card debt into them; however, a rising probability of default and the resulting loss of equity in the home will put an upper bound on the potential HELOC borrowing that will prevent full debt consolidation.
|Date of creation:||2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 234 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G9, Canada|
Phone: 613 782-8845
Fax: 613 782-8874
Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brito, Dagobert L & Hartley, Peter R, 1995. "Consumer Rationality and Credit Cards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 400-433, April.
- Sangkyun Park, 1997. "Option value of credit lines as an explanation of high credit card rates," Research Paper 9702, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, .
"Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of CreditCard Interest Rates,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
03-94, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Calem, Paul S & Mester, Loretta J, 1995. "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of Credit-Card Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1327-36, December.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, . "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of CreditCard Interest Rates," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-94, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, 1995. "Consumer behavior and the stickiness of credit card interest rates," Working Papers 95-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, 1994. "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of Credit Card Interest Rates," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 94-14, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Glenn B. Canner & James T. Fergus & Charles A. Luckett, 1988. "Home equity lines of credit," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jun, pages 361-373.
- Glenn B. Canner & Charles A. Luckett, 1994. "Home equity lending: evidence from recent surveys," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 571-583.
- Loretta J. Mester, 1993.
"Why are credit card rates sticky?,"
93-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Angus Deaton, 1989.
"Saving and Liquidity Constraints,"
NBER Working Papers
3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shubhasis Dey & Gene Mumy, 2005. "Determinants of Borrowing Limits on Credit Cards," Staff Working Papers 05-7, Bank of Canada.
- David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
- Glenn B. Canner & Thomas A. Durkin & Charles A. Luckett, 1998. "Recent developments in home equity lending," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Apr, pages 241-251.
- Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
- Jensen, Helen H., 1985. "Home Equity Use and the Life Cycle Hypothesis," Staff General Research Papers 11234, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Sydney Ludvigson, 1996.
"Consumption and credit: a model of time-varying liquidity constraints,"
9624, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Sydney Ludvigson, 1999. "Consumption And Credit: A Model Of Time-Varying Liquidity Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 434-447, August.
- Francesca Eugeni, 1993. "Consumer debt and home equity borrowing," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Mar, pages 2-13.
- Ausubel, Lawrence M, 1991. "The Failure of Competition in the Credit Card Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 50-81, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:05-18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.