GSCU Delinquency Reduction Field Experiment

Last registered on September 24, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
GSCU Delinquency Reduction Field Experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006426
Initial registration date
September 23, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
September 24, 2020, 7:34 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Washington University in St. Louis

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2020-06-29
End date
2022-12-31
Secondary IDs
NA
Abstract
GreenState Credit Union (GSCU) and Washington University’s Social Policy Institute (SPI) are engaged in a research partnership to test and evaluate several different interventions to promote financial wellness among GSCU members. The purpose of this project is to identify interventions that “move the needle” in helping members (1) resolve delinquency on GSCU loans, (2) prevent delinquency on loans, or (3) utilize holistic financial counseling to bolster their financial capabilities, helping with (1) & (2). The research flow divides GSCU members into three sub-populations labeled A, B,and C, which correspond, respectively, to the three objectives above. At the start of the study, GSCU will randomly assign all members into these three populations, and members within each population will then be randomly assigned to either a “control” or “treatment” sub-group. If the latter, the member will receive the appropriate treatment if pre-determined (e.g. experiencing delinquency) criteria are met.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Roll, Stephen. 2020. "GSCU Delinquency Reduction Field Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. September 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6426
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The research flow divides GSCU members into three sub-populations labeled A, B, and C, which correspond. At the start of
the study, GSCU will randomly assign all members into these three populations, and members within each population will then be randomly assigned to either a “control” or “treatment” sub-group. If the latter, the member will receive the appropriate treatment if pre-determined (e.g. experiencing delinquency) criteria are met.

“A” Population — Members in the “A” population will receive treatments designed to help them successfully resolve their delinquency if they enter delinquency during the study. They will be randomly assigned into four sub-groups: CA, A1, A2, and A3. “CA”
is the control group. “A1” will receive “resolution emails” designed by SPI to encourage successful resolution. “A2” will receive “credit score emails” designed to help them understand the impacts of delinquency on their credit score. “A3” will receive a hybrid treatment including both the “resolution emails” and the “credit score emails.” These treatments will take place outside of GSCU's traditional Account Resolution workflow.

“B” Population — Members in the “B” population will receive treatments designed to help prevent them from entering delinquency during the study. After being randomly assigned into the “B” population, GSCU will identify the 15,000 members of the “B” Population most likely to experience delinquency over the next three months. These 15,000 members will be the “B Target Population” and will be randomly assigned into five sub-groups: CB, B1, B2, B3, and B4. “CB” is our control group. “B1” will receive “prevention emails” designed by SPI to encourage members to prevent delinquency. “B2” will receive letters with a magnet inside with the due date of their GSCU loan and encouraging them to sign up for auto-pay. “B3” will receive marketing emails encouraging them to consider enrolling in GreenState’s pilot “Rainy Day Savings” program, which is designed to help them build their liquid savings balances. “B4” is an omnibus group that will receive the B1, B2, and B3 treatments.

“C” Population, approximately 70,000 members — Members in the “C” population will be encouraged to go through holistic financial counseling offered by Horizons, an Iowa-based financial coaching non profit organization. Similar to the “B Target Population,” after being randomly assigned into the “C” population, GSCU will identify the 15,000 members of the “C” Population most likely to experience delinquency over the next three months, and then sub-divide them into CC, C1, and C2.
Intervention Start Date
2020-09-28
Intervention End Date
2021-09-27

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Incidence of 30 day delinquency
Incidence of 60 day delinquency
Incidence of 90 day delinquency
Amount of GSCU debt liability
Number of late debt payments
Number of skipped debt payments
Ownership of GSCU savings account

Amount of liquid savings in GSCU account
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
All data will be taken directly from GSCU account data.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
GSCU members who held some debt with GSCU were randomized into one of three groups -- A, B, and C.

Members who were randomized into the A group were then randomized into one of four subgroups -- CA, A1, A2, and A3. Each of the roughly 27,000 members randomized into this group will be included in the analytical sample for the "A" interventions.

Members who were randomized into the B group were then randomized into one of give subgroups -- CB, B1, B2, B3, and B4. In each of these subgroups, the 3,000 members at highest risk of delinquency (as determined by the CURise model) will be included in the analytical sample. In groups B1, B2, B3, and B4, only the 3,000 highest risk members will receive the intervention.

Members who were randomized into the C group were then randomized into one of three subgroups -- CC, C1, and C2. In each of these subgroups, the 5,000 members at highest risk of delinquency (as determined by the CURise model) will be included in the analytical sample. In groups C1 and C2, only the 5,000 highest risk members will receive the intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was conducted in an office using Stata 14.
Randomization Unit
Randomization occurred at the household level.
Some members lived in the same household as another member whose "home branch" is going to included in a quasi-experiment that tests the efficacy of an automatic savings account program. If a household has any member whose home branch was in the quasi-experiment, then no member of the household would be randomized into one the A, B, or C groups.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Roughly 54,000 households.
Sample size: planned number of observations
57,000 members will be included in this study.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
AC: ~7,200 members
A1: ~7,200 members
A2: ~7,200 members
A3: ~7,200 members

BC: 3,000 members
B1: 3,000 members
B2: 3,000 members
B3: 3,000 members
B4: 3,000 members

CC: 5,000 members
C1: 5,000 members
C2: 5,000 members
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Washington University in St. Louis
IRB Approval Date
2019-11-05
IRB Approval Number
20191107