Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Finance

Document Type



The mortgage market is constantly evolving. Many factors play a role in the shaping of mortgage market and affect household finance. This dissertation contains two essays, each aiming to understand how the housing market is affected by two factors: growth of fintech mortgage lenders and impact of housing affordability on household mobility.

The goal of the first essay is to answer whether the rapidly expanding presence of fintech lenders in the US mortgage market plays a role in expanding access to mortgage credit for underserved borrowers. We use mortgage application data to investigate the impact of fintech lenders on mortgage credit access and costs for underserved borrowers. The findings suggest that fintech lenders are more likely to serve underserved borrowers, such as minority borrowers and borrowers with higher debt-to-income ratios, implying an increase in credit access. Even though fintech lenders are charging lower interest rates than traditional lenders, the total loan cost, which includes origination and other fees, is higher for fintech lenders than for non-fintech lenders.

The second essay examines the stricter lending requirements imposed by regulators in the aftermath of 2008 financial crisis. We use a difference-in-differences method to examine the impact of these restrictions on household mobility. We find that restrictions on debt-to-income (DTI) ratios for mortgages led to increased outmigration from areas with less affordable homes. The effect is stronger in high-income areas, where individuals can afford to move. These findings suggest that housing affordability has a significant impact on household mobility.



Committee Chair

Ratnadiwakara, Dimuthu

Available for download on Monday, March 17, 2031