A Mixed-Method Case Study of Swedish Loan Officers' Mortgage Credit Decisions
Abstract: This thesis purpose was to examine to what extent and why loan officers’ judgment influence mortgage credit decisions. A mixed method was used to collect primary data from loan officers’ at a Swedish commercial bank. Quantitative data were collected from 39 loan officers answering an identical mortgage application, and qualitative data were collected from interviews held with five loan officers. The findings showed a considerable inconsistency among the loan officers' mortgage credit decisions and that judgment plays a vital role in the decision-making process. The credit amount granted ranged from SEK 4.25 million to 5.6 million, whereas the charged interest rate ranged from 40 to 51 basis points across four fixed interest periods. Overall, the findings can be understood by loan officers’ lacked explicit rules controlling the relationship between assessing data presented in the mortgage application and which credit decisions they should make. The theoretical contribution of the thesis is to enhance our understanding of how loan officers make credit decisions and the role of judgment in the process. The research findings imply that households should expect large variations in offered credit amounts and interest rates, depending on which loan officer managing their loan application.
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