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Credit scoring and loan default


  • Geetesh Bhardwaj
  • Rajdeep Sengupta


This paper introduces a measure of credit score performance that abstracts from the influence of “situational factors.” Using this measure, we study the role and effectiveness of credit scoring that underlied subprime securities during the mortgage boom of 2000-2006. Parametric and nonparametric measures of credit score performance reveal different trends, especially on originations with low credit scores. The paper demonstrates an increasing trend of reliance on credit scoring not only as a measure of credit risk but also as a means to offset other riskier attributes of the origination. This reliance led to deterioration in loan performance even though average credit quality—as measured in terms of credit scores— actually improved over the years.

Suggested Citation

  • Geetesh Bhardwaj & Rajdeep Sengupta, 2011. "Credit scoring and loan default," Working Papers 2011-040, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2011-040

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Bennardo & Marco Pagano & Salvatore Piccolo, 2015. "Multiple Bank Lending, Creditor Rights, and Information Sharing," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(2), pages 519-570.
    2. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Goette, Lorenz & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Just the facts: An initial analysis of subprime's role in the housing crisis," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 291-305, December.
    3. Brown, Martin & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2009. "Information sharing and credit: Firm-level evidence from transition countries," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 151-172, April.
    4. Pennington-Cross, Anthony, 2003. "Credit History and the Performance of Prime and Nonprime Mortgages," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 279-301, November.
    5. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362.
    6. Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2010. "An introduction to the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel," Staff Reports 479, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why more bad mortgages? Too much reliance on credit scores
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-12-01 21:29:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Bhardwaj, Geetesh & Sengupta, Rajdeep, 2014. "Subprime cohorts and loan performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 236-252.

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    Credit scoring systems ; Mortgage loans;

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