Loan Contracting in the Presence of Usury Limits: Evidence from Automobile Lending
43 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2017
Date Written: March 2017
We study the effects of interest rate ceilings on the market for automobile loans. We find that loan contracting and the organization of the loan market adjust to facilitate loans to risky borrowers. When usury restrictions bind, automobile dealersnance a greater share of their customers' purchases, which allows them to price credit risk through the mark-up on the product sale rather than the loan interest rate. Despite having little effect on who receives credit, usury limits therefore have a substantial effect on who provides credit and on the terms of credit granted. Usury limits may harm defaulting borrowers, who face greater liabilities in default than they would if loan contracts were unconstrained.
Keywords: Household ﬁnance, consumer credit, ﬁnancial regulation, usury limit, loan contracting, credit rationing, seller ﬁnance, captive ﬁnance
JEL Classification: D14; G2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation