The Importance of Financial Experience for First-Time Homeowners
50 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 19, 2019
We use individual-level data to quantify the effect of getting a mortgage on non-mortgage credit outcomes. We use a regression discontinuity design and find that individuals that transition to homeownership increase their credit card and auto balances by $8,300 and $14,800, suggesting a debt spillover effect from home ownership. This increase in debt is equivalent to 13% of the average mortgage loan, and we provide evidence that it is mainly driven by a change in credit demand. We find that this increase in debt is driven by individuals with higher financial experience, while their overall ability to service their debt remains unchanged. In contrast, low-experience individuals do not increase their debt, but are relatively more likely to experience a deterioration in their financial health. Taken together, these results highlight the role financial experience plays in managing the debt burden associated to a new home.
Keywords: Household Debt, Mortgage, Financial Experience
JEL Classification: D12, D14, R21, R23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation