The brief’s key findings are:
- As the population ages, an important question is whether aging affects a person’s ability to access credit.
- This study explores the question using data on mortgage refinance applications from the confidential Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
- The analysis, which controls for a host of applicant, property, and loan characteristics, finds that rejection rates rise substantially with age.
- A potential explanation is mortality risk, which increases the likelihood of the loan being paid off early or entering foreclosure.
- Thus, the results do not necessarily indicate that lenders are violating fair lending rules.