May 15, 2017

Words that predict if a borrower will pay off a loan

Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Economists at the University of Columbia and the University of Delaware analyzed the top 10 most common words or phrases used in personal loan apps and found five are most associated with defaulting. They used data from Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending site. Here's a general rule to go by, as NYMag puts it:

"Generally, if someone tells you he will pay you back, he will not pay you back. The more assertive the promise, the more likely he will break it."

Words or phrases predicting default:

  1. God
  2. Promise
  3. Will pay
  4. Thank you
  5. Hospital

Breaking that down: If he or she tries to get sympathy, for instance, by telling you someone is in the hospital, he or she is unlikely to pay you back. If he or she uses the word "explain," payback is also unlikely.

Words or phrases predicting payback:

  1. Debt-free
  2. Lower interest rate
  3. After-tax
  4. Minimum payment
  5. Graduate

Breaking that down: Those with some level of understanding about finance appear more likely to make their loan payments. Plus, those talking about positive achievements or a plan of how to pay you back or past fulfilled commitments, like graduating or being debt-free, are likely to pay off loans.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:00 a.m. ET: 5,594,175 — Total deaths: 350,531 — Total recoveries — 2,288,579Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:00 a.m. ET: 1,681,418 — Total deaths: 98,929 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets at demonstrators

Hong Kong riot policeissue a warning as they aim to clear away people gathered downtownon Wednesday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong riot police have fired pepper pellets at activists and surrounded the Legislative Council during demonstrations against a bill proposing to criminalize "disrespect of the Chinese anthem" on Wednesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The bill is the latest concern pro-democracy protesters have that Chinese authorities are encroaching on the high degree of autonomy the former British colony has retained since it was returned to China in 1997.

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.