But these categories still combine distinct decisions. For example, a borrower may refinance to obtain a lower interest rate or to borrow a larger amount. By matching mortgage servicing and credit bureau records, we are able to distinguish among several motivations for prepayment: simple refinancing, cash-out refinancing, mortgage payoff, and move. Using multinomial logit to estimate a competing hazard model for these types of prepayments plus default, we demonstrate that these outcomes are distinct, with some outcomes showing quite different relationships to standard predictive variables, such as refinance incentive, credit score, and loan-to-value ratio, than in models that combine outcomes. The implication of these findings is that models that aggregate prepayment types do not adequately describe borrower motivations.

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