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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

Behind GameStop's latest stock surge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Back in focus: The meme stock trade.

By the numbers: GameStop finished up 19%, after a wild day that saw shares spike as much as 80%.

AT&T spins off U.S. video business via deal with TPG

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

AT&T is spinning off three of its video services, including its satellite TV brand DirecTV, to create a new standalone video company called New DIRECTV.

Details: The company will be jointly owned by AT&T and private-equity giant TPG. AT&T will retain a 70% stake and TPG will own 30% of the firm.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Ex-USA Gymnastics coach dies by suicide after being charged with human trafficking

John Geddert. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The body of John Geddert was found on Thursday, just hours after the former USA Gymnastics coach was charged with 24 counts of criminal misconduct, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

What they're saying: “My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Nessel said in a statement.