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Does Knowing Your FICO Score Change Financial Behavior? Evidence from a Field Experiment with Student Loan Borrowers

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  • Tatiana Homonoff
  • Rourke O'Brien
  • Abigail B. Sussman

Abstract

One in five consumer credit accounts incur late fees each quarter. Evidence on the efficacy of regulations to improve behavior through enhanced disclosure of financial product attributes is mixed. We test a novel form of disclosure that provides borrowers with a personalized measure of their creditworthiness. In a field experiment with over 400,000 student loan borrowers, treatment group members received communications about the availability of their FICO Score. The intervention significantly reduced late payments and increased borrowers’ FICO Scores. Survey data show treatment group members were less likely to overestimate their FICO Scores, suggesting the intervention may correct for overoptimism.

Suggested Citation

  • Tatiana Homonoff & Rourke O'Brien & Abigail B. Sussman, 2019. "Does Knowing Your FICO Score Change Financial Behavior? Evidence from a Field Experiment with Student Loan Borrowers," NBER Working Papers 26048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26048
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    1. Kondratjeva, Olga & Roll, Stephen P. & Bufe, Sam & Grinstein-Weiss, Michal, 2021. "Using financial tips to guide debt repayment: Experimental evidence from low- and moderate-income tax filers," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    2. Keegan Harris & Anish Agarwal & Chara Podimata & Zhiwei Steven Wu, 2022. "Strategyproof Decision-Making in Panel Data Settings and Beyond," Papers 2211.14236, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2023.
    3. Neil Bhutta & Aurel Hizmo & Daniel R. Ringo, 2022. "How Much Does Racial Bias Affect Mortgage Lending? Evidence from Human and Algorithmic Credit Decisions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2022-067, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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