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Determinants of borrowers' default in P2P lending under consideration of the loan risk class


  • Michal Polena

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Tobias Regner

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)


We study the determinants of borrowers' default in P2P lending with a new data set consisting of 70,673 loan observations from Lending Club. Previous research identified a number of default determining variables but did not distinguish between different loan risk levels. We define four loan risk classes and test the significance of the default determining variables within each loan risk class. Our findings suggest that the significance of most variables depends on the loan risk class. Only few variables are consistently significant across all risk classes. The debt-to-income ratio, inquiries in the past 6 months and a loan intended for a small business are positively correlated with the default rate. Annual income and credit card as loan purpose are negatively correlated.

Suggested Citation

  • Michal Polena & Tobias Regner, 2016. "Determinants of borrowers' default in P2P lending under consideration of the loan risk class," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-023, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2016-023

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freedman, Seth & Jin, Ginger Zhe, 2017. "The information value of online social networks: Lessons from peer-to-peer lending," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 185-222.
    2. Adam Nowak & Amanda Ross & Christopher Yencha, 2015. "Small Business Borrowing and Peer-to-Peer Lending: Evidence from Lending Club," Working Papers 15-28, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    3. Carlos Serrano-Cinca & Begoña Gutiérrez-Nieto & Luz López-Palacios, 2015. "Determinants of Default in P2P Lending," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(10), pages 1-22, October.
    4. Riza Emekter & Yanbin Tu & Benjamas Jirasakuldech & Min Lu, 2015. "Evaluating credit risk and loan performance in online Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 54-70, January.
    5. Mingfeng Lin & Nagpurnanand R. Prabhala & Siva Viswanathan, 2013. "Judging Borrowers by the Company They Keep: Friendship Networks and Information Asymmetry in Online Peer-to-Peer Lending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 17-35, August.
    6. Juanjuan Zhang & Peng Liu, 2012. "Rational Herding in Microloan Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(5), pages 892-912, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yeujun Yoon & Yu Li & Yan Feng, 2019. "Factors affecting platform default risk in online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending business: an empirical study using Chinese online P2P platform data," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 131-158, March.

    More about this item


    crowdfunding; peer-to-peer lending; P2P; credit grade; FICO score; default risk;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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