Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Lending Club Loan Borrower's Earliest Credit Line and Loan Volume

After returning from vacation, I have started to analyze Lending Club historical loan data again and have improved PeerCube further. I am pleased to see PeerCube user base growing another 20% in my absence. Peter was kind enough to set up a section for PeerCube on Lend Academy forum. I'd like to encourage you to use the forum to suggest enhancements, request new features, and report any issues on PeerCube.

In a few posts, I will analyze a correlation between borrower's earliest credit line and credit risk. The past consumer finance research indicates that age of the borrower is significantly related to credit risk. As Lending Club doesn't publish the age of the borrowers, I have been using Earliest Credit Line as a proxy for age in my loan selection at Lending Club.

I am particularly interested in finding out whether the year of earliest credit line moves with loan application year as that would indicate a particular age group of borrowers more likely to use peer to peer lending for their credit needs.  My impression is that most people start their credit in late teens and typically get into credit problems in late 20's or early 30's if they don't manage money properly. I expect that most borrowers on Lending Club to have their earliest credit line opened 10 to 15 years ago.

The chart below shows the loan volume as a function of the year of earliest credit line. The surprising pattern is that the borrowers with first credit line established in year 2000 appears to have most loans issued, year after year. The breadth of years when first credit line was established for which most loans were issued seem to be narrowing with application year.

I wanted to see whether the distribution of loans by borrowers' earliest credit line is changing year over year. The chart below shows the distribution of loans by borrowers' earliest credit line for each application year. The percentage distribution for each application year appears to track closely. While the previous chart indicates that borrowers who established credit line in 2000 have the biggest share of loans, this chart indicates that the percentage of loans issued to borrowers with earliest credit line established in 2000 is rising with each application year and shifted from 1999 and 1996 in earlier application years.

I also calculated the Credit Age in years, the number of days between the earliest credit line date and application date. The chart below shows the loan volume as a function of credit age. The chart is not that different from the first one above. Even though no additional insights I gained from this chart, I expect the credit age to be handy when I analyze loan defaults.

In the next post, I will analyze loan defaults with respect to earliest credit line and credit age.

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