This project tests the use of rules of thumb to improve decision making for loan repayments.
Student loan borrowers face a number of challenges that make it difficult to optimize decisions about loan repayment. Commonwealth believes it is possible to encourage better adherence to loan repayment schedules among financially vulnerable Americans through the use of rules of thumb, a short, memorable statement that serves as a guideline for decision-making.
Leveraging its experience designing and testing rules of thumb, Commonwealth has designed a set of rules that address specific consumer pain points related to student loan repayment. The rules have been informed by original consumer research conducted by Commonwealth and include encouraging consumers to prepay and to pay as much as they can even if they can’t afford to make a full payment. These rules will be piloted with a national partner over a six-month period in 2016-2017. Commonwealth will collect and analyze data about student loan borrowers who received rules of thumb and those who did not and compare the impact.