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Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page Do Homeowners Know Their House Values and Mortgage Terms?
Brian Bucks and Karen Pence

Abstract: To assess whether homeowners know their house values and mortgage terms, we compare the distributions of these variables in the household-reported 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to the distributions in lender-reported data. We also examine the share of SCF respondents who report not knowing these variables. We find that most homeowners appear to report their house values and broad mortgage terms reasonably accurately. Some adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers, though, and especially those with below-median income, appear to underestimate or not know how much their interest rates could change.

Keywords: Mortgages, house prices, Survey of Consumer Finances, financial literacy

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Last update: March 10, 2006