x

Please fill out this short user survey of only 3 questions in order to help us improve the site. We appreciate your feedback!
Credit where it’s due: Reducing credit card debt
Last registered on September 12, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Credit where it’s due: Reducing credit card debt
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002422
Initial registration date
September 11, 2017
Last updated
September 12, 2017 4:13 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-05-31
End date
2018-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The aim of the study is to test the impact of behavioural economics-informed reminders on the credit card repayment behaviour of individuals who have persistently been making low repayments. Providing electronic notifications and proactively contacting consumers who persistently make small repayments were specifically actions proposed for behavioural testing in the Australian Government’s consultation paper titled ‘Credit Cards: Improving Consumer Outcomes and Enhancing Competition’. It is thought that consumers who make small repayments are experiencing financial hardship and/or are unaware of the consequences of under repayment and the options available to pay off debt more quickly.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Credit where it’s due: Reducing credit card debt." AEA RCT Registry. September 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2422-1.0.
Former Citation
Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Credit where it’s due: Reducing credit card debt." AEA RCT Registry. September 12. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2422/history/21353.
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Customers will receive an electronic notification reminding them that payment on their credit card bill is due next week
Intervention Start Date
2017-05-31
Intervention End Date
2017-09-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Customer repayments on their credit card balance by the due date. include:
Primary outcomes: (1) % of credit card balance paid each month ($ amount paid/closing balance) (2) $ amount paid each month.
Secondary outcomes: (1) $ balance owing each month (2) $ interest and fees each month.
Outcomes will be evaluated at the individual customer level, and sub-group analysis will be performed to examine effects for different demographic groups.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Customers will be randomly allocated to receive a reminder message.
Experimental Design Details
The sample will include customers who have: • held a credit card for at least one year, • paid 2% to 4% (inclusive) of their credit card balance, for 10 out of the preceding 12 months, and demonstrating this payment behaviour in the most recent 3 months, • a credit card balance of greater than or equal to $500, and • incurred current interest charges of greater than or equal to $25. Gamers, delinquent and written off accounts, and account-holders who are deceased or involved with legal problems were excluded from the study. Eligible customers will be split into two groups: (1) those who receive email correspondence and (2) those who receive SMS correspondence. In the week before payment on a credit card is due, customers will either receive no electronic notification at all (pure control) or will receive an electronic notification that reminds them that payment on their credit card is due next week. Specifically, individuals will be randomly assigned to one of two control conditions (pure control of no electronic notification at all; bland reminder electronic notification), or one of four treatment conditions. Outcome measures will be collected from 12-months pre-intervention to 12-months post-intervention to allow for equivalency testing, and the analysis of persistence and durability of effects.
Randomization Method
Customers who meet the eligibility criteria will be divided into two segments based whether they are eligible to receive a SMS or EDM. Within each channel, customers will be randomly distributed among 6 cells stratified by credit card balance and age group.
Randomization Unit
At the individual customer level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
NA
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 25,000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 1,600 individuals in each cell for the email channel, and approximately 2,500 individuals in each cell for the SMS channel.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For the outcome measure of $ amount paid per month, assuming a two-tailed alpha = 0.05 and power = 0.80, the study is powered to detect a $22.50 difference in the email channel, and an $18 difference in the SMS channel. This is based on repayment data from February 2016 to January 2017. Once repayment data from June 2016 to May 2017 is available, it is possible that the study will be powered to detect slightly different effects.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
BETA Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2017-05-01
IRB Approval Number
ETH 2017 – 006
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS