Does credit scoring produce a disparate impact?
The widespread use of credit scoring in the underwriting and pricing of mortgage and consumer credit has raised concerns that the use of these scores may unfairly disadvantage minority populations. A specific concern has been that the independent variables that comprise these models may have a disparate impact on these demographic groups. By "disparate impact" we mean that a variable's predictive power might arise not from its ability to predict future performance within any demographic group, but rather from acting as a surrogate for group membership. Using a unique source of data that combines a nationally representative sample of credit bureau records with demographic information from the Social Security Administration and a demographic information company, we examine the extent to which credit history scores may have such a disparate impact. Our examination yields no evidence of disparate impact by race (or ethnicity) or gender. However, we do find evidence of limited disparate impact by age, in which the use of variables related to an individual's credit history appear to lower the credit scores of older individuals and increase them for the young.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Robert M. Hunt, 2005. "A century of consumer credit reporting in America," Working Papers 05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Stephen L. Ross & John Yinger, 2002. "The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research Methodology, and Fair-Lending Enforcement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182289.
- Black, Harold A. & Boehm, Thomas P. & DeGennaro, Ramon P., 2003.
"Is there discrimination in mortgage pricing? The case of overages,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1139-1165, June.
- Harold A. Black & Thomas P. Boehm & Ramon P. DeGennaro, 2001. "Is there discrimination in mortgage pricing? the case of overages," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2001-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Berkovec, James A & Canner, Glenn B. & Gabriel, Stuart A. & Hannan, Timothy H., 1994. "Race, Redlining, and Residential Mortgage Loan Performance," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 263-294, November.
- James A. Berkovec & Glenn B. Canner & Stuart A. Gabriel & Timothy H. Hannan, 1994. "Race, redlining, and residential mortgage loan performance," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, pages 263-298.
- Munnell, Alicia H. & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell & Lynn E. Browne & James McEneaney, 1996. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 25-53, March.
- Alicia H. Munnell, 1992. "Mortgage lending in Boston: interpreting HMDA data," Working Papers 92-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Marsha J. Courchane, 2007. "The Pricing of Home Mortgage Loans to Minority Borrowers: How Much of the APR Differential Can We Explain?," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 29(4), pages 399-440. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)