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A Portfolio View of Consumer Credit

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  • David K. Musto
  • Nicholas S. Souleles

Abstract

To compute risk-adjusted returns and gauge the volatility of their portfolios, lenders need to know the covariances of their loans' returns with aggregate returns. Cross-sectional differences in these covariances also provide insight into the nature of the shocks hitting different types of consumers. We use a unique panel dataset of credit bureau records to measure the 'covariance risk' of individual consumers, i.e., the covariance of their default risk with aggregate consumer default rates, and more generally to analyze the cross-sectional distribution of credit, including the effects of credit scores. We obtain two key sets of results. First, there is significant systematic heterogeneity in covariance risk across consumers with different characteristics. Consumers with high covariance risk tend to also have low credit scores (high default probabilities). Second, the amount of credit obtained by consumers significantly increases with their credit scores, and significantly decreases with their covariance risk (especially revolving credit), though the effect of covariance risk is smaller in magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • David K. Musto & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "A Portfolio View of Consumer Credit," NBER Working Papers 11735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11735
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. David B. Gross, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 319-347, March.
    3. David K. Musto, 2004. "What Happens When Information Leaves a Market? Evidence from Postbankruptcy Consumers," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 725-748, October.
    4. Barakova, Irina & Bostic, Raphael W. & Calem, Paul S. & Wachter, Susan M., 2003. "Does credit quality matter for homeownership?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 318-336, December.
    5. Hanson, Samuel G. & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Schuermann, Til, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and credit risk diversification," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 583-612, September.
    6. Souphala Chomsisengphet & Ronel Elul, 2005. "Bankruptcy exemptions, credit history, and the mortgage market," Working Papers 04-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    7. Anthony Pennington-Cross & Joseph Nichols, 2000. "Credit History and the FHA-Conventional Choice," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 307-336.
    8. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
    9. Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
    10. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-636, May-June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gary B. Gorton & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "Special Purpose Vehicles and Securitization," NBER Chapters,in: The Risks of Financial Institutions, pages 549-602 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ionescu, Felicia & Simpson, Nicole, 2016. "Default risk and private student loans: Implications for higher education policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 119-147.
    3. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "The Reaction of Consumer Spending and Debt to Tax Rebates-Evidence from Consumer Credit Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 986-1019, December.
    4. Cheng, X. & Degryse, H.A., 2010. "Information Sharing and Credit Rationing : Evidence from the Introduction of a Public Credit Registry," Discussion Paper 2010-34S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Chintal Desai & Andre Mollick, 2014. "On Consumer Credit Outcomes in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 91-115, February.
    6. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2010. "Benefits of relationship banking: evidence from consumer credit markets," Working Paper Series WP-2010-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. Agarwal, Sumit & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Liu, Chunlin & Souleles, Nicholas S., 2005. "Do consumers choose the right credit contracts?," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/32, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    8. Kristopher Gerardi & Andreas Lehnert & Shane M. Sherlund & Paul Willen, 2008. "Making Sense of the Subprime Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 69-159.
    9. Carlos Madeira, 2016. "Measuring the Covariance Risk of Consumer Debt Portfolios," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 793, Central Bank of Chile.
    10. Malik, Madhur & Thomas, Lyn C., 2012. "Transition matrix models of consumer credit ratings," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 261-272.
    11. repec:eee:empfin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:256-282 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:oup:rcorpf:v:4:y:2015:i:2:p:239-257. is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Chintal Desai & Gregory Elliehausen & Edward Lawrence, 2014. "On the County-Level Credit Outcome Beta," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 201-218, April.
    14. repec:spr:jecstr:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40008-017-0066-y is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Oh, Joon-Hee & Johnston, Wesley J., 2014. "Credit lender–borrower relationship in the credit card market – Implications for credit risk management strategy and relationship marketing," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1086-1095.
    16. Scholnick, Barry, 2009. "Credit card use after the final mortgage payment: does the magnitude of income shocks matter?," Working Paper Series 1142, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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