RCPL Prof. Publishes Article on Subprime Lending

Dr. C. Aujean Lee, an Assistant Professor in the Regional + City Planning Department, recently co-authored the article, “Fintech’s relationship with subprime lending in immigrant gateway metropolitan areas,” in the Journal of Urban Affairs. Dr. Lee and her collaborator Tyler Haupert looked at the all-online mortgage loan application process known as fintech loans and found that immigrant gateways are associated with higher rates of subprime lending than areas with low rates of immigration.  

The study suggests that metropolitan and tract-level racial and ethnic patterns remain key factors in shaping subprime lending rates in a rapidly evolving mortgage credit market. These findings highlight the continuing importance of race and ethnicity in lending and the need for monitoring discrimination in evolving financial technology.  

Read the article’s abstract and find a link to the full article below. Congratulations to Dr. Lee on her publication! 

Abstract 

Financial technology lending (fintech) is a subset of the mortgage industry characterized by all-online application processes and the inclusion of non-traditional applicant data in underwriting decisions. While national studies suggest that fintech lenders mimic traditional lenders and distribute subprime loans to minority borrowers and neighborhoods at higher rates than to white borrowers and neighborhoods, these studies exclude regional differences by race/ethnicity and nativity. We assess variation in neighborhood-level fintech and traditional subprime lending rates across immigrant gateway metropolitan areas. Using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, we find that immigrant gateways are associated with higher rates of subprime lending than metropolitan areas with low rates of immigration. Results suggest that neighborhood-level composition of Asian and Latinx residents mediate the relationship between subprime lending and immigrant gateways in distinct ways depending on lender type. Findings suggest metropolitan and tract-level racial and ethnic patterns remain key factors in shaping subprime lending rates in a rapidly evolving mortgage credit market. 

To read the full article, click here.