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우리나라 적격대출제도의 개선과제에 대한 일 고찰

  • 강경훈 동국대학교 경영학부 교수
  • 박창균 중앙대학교 경영학부 교수
2012년 3월에 도입된 주택금융공사의 적격대출은 대출금리가 낮은 데다 거치식 상환 방식이 가능함에 따라 급속한 성장세를 나타내었다. 적격대출의 낮은 금리는 대출 채권의 유동화 증권이 주택금융공사의 보증에 힘입어 낮은 금리로 발행되는 데 주로 기인하므로 결국 정부가 민간 금융회사의 대출 위험을 떠안는 셈이 된다. 적격대출은 향후 주택담보 대출 시장을 선도하여 외부 충격에 취약한 변동금리?일시상환 대출 구조를 고정금리? 비거치식 분할상환 구조로 유도하는 한편 차입자의 부담도 덜어주는 긍정적인 역할을 할 것으로 예상된다. 그러나 아직까지 거치식 대출이 많이 포함되어 있고, 상환능력, 신용등급 등 채무자 요건이 매우 낮은 수준인 데다 민간 금융회사가 수취하는 수수료를 스스로 결정하는 등의 문제점들을 안고 있다. 특히 이런 문제점들이 주택담보대출 시장의 비대칭정보 문제와 연결되는 경우 주택금융공사의 부실 문제로 이어질 수도 있으므로 거치식 대출 폐지, 채무자 요건 강화, 수수료의 직접 관리, 적격대출제도 상시 감독 및 국회 보고 등의 개선방안을 검토할 필요가 있다. 한편 적격대출의 부실 등을 우려하여 정책당국이 적격대출에 대하여 양적 규제 등을 시도하는 경우 비대칭정보 문제가 오히려 심화될 가능성도 있으므로 앞으로는 적격대출제도의 문제점들을 철저히 개선하는 한편 양적 규제는 오히려 완화하는 것이 바람직하다.
적격대출; 주택금융; 거치식 및 비거치식 대출; 채무자 요건; 비대칭정보; 양적 규제; Conforming Mortgage Loans; Housing Finance; Bullet Loans; Credit Standards; Asymmetric Information; Quantity Restriction

Conforming Mortgage Loans : Some Issues and Policy Recommendations

  • Kyeong-Hoon Kang
  • Chang Gyun Park
Korea Housing Finance Corporation (KHFC) introduced conforming mortgage loan (CML), which is standardized to be compatible with securitization. It is similar to the conforming loan in the U.S. The U.S. government is directly and indirectly involved in the home mortgage market. Its direct involvement is through the granting of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, as well as loans granted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Rural Housing Service of the Department of Agriculture. The government’ indirect involvement is made possible through the securitization. The mortgage loans offered by private firms, on the other hand, are referred to as conventional mortgage loans. Some conventional mortgage loans have to conform to the requirements in order to be purchased by the Fannie Mae and the Freddie Mac. Most of these conforming loans are securitized by those public entities. By buying mortgage loans, these two governmentsponsored enterprises (GSEs) create liquidity for lenders, freeing up capital so they can make more loans, thereby offering better support to the credit market. The access to funding from the capital markets on fairly generous terms by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has historically generated a steady demand for conforming loans, and in the process allowed lenders to offer somewhat more favorable terms on these home mortgages. In many respects, CML in Korea and the conforming loan in the U.S. are quite similar. For instance, the private mortgage loans that satisfy the requirements set by KHFC are purchased by the corporation. CML also allows lenders to provide home mortgage loans on very favorable terms. KHFC requires the following specific conditions for CML. Borrowers should have credit grades no worse than 8th grade assigned by the certified credit bureaus. Loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios should not violate the guidelines set by Korea’s financial watchdog, called the Financial Services Commission. Also, the loan size cannot exceed 500 million Korean Won, and the length of maturity ranges from five to thirty-five years. Both fixed and floating rate loans are accepted. In addition, there is no restriction on repayment method, and even bullet loans are qualified for CML. As soon as it was introduced in March 2012, due to these borrower-friendly terms, CML became instantly popular in the Korean residential mortgage loan market. Mainly its low interest rate and flexible repayment scheme attracted many. The low interest rate relies predominantly on the risk mitigation measure provided by KHFC since CMLs are sold by commercial banks with the presumption that they would be securitized through the issuance of MBS with credit guarantee by KHFC that is again backed by the government. The government guarantee of CMLs can be understood as a necessary incentive to induce mortgage borrowers to switch their existing loans to long-term fixed rate loans with amortization from short-term bullet loans. And yet, CML has some structural flaws that require immediate policy attention. Contrary to initial intention, bullet loans still comprise a significant portion of CML portfolio. In addition, the credit standard is set at a very low level in terms of the borrowers’ credit scores and repayment ability. Moreover, servicing companies are free to set their own level of servicing fees, which create ample chances for disputes to erupt between servicers and borrowers in anytime soon. These problems may result in significant financial burden on KHFC when they are entangled with the problem of information asymmetry prevalent in the mortgage market. In response to these potential challenges, we make the following four policy recommendations. First of all, bullet loans should be completely eliminated from CML portfolio. Second, credit standards should be significantly tightened immediately. Third, KHFC should restructure the loan management system to reclaim the right to determine the level of servicing fees lenders can charge. Finally, transparency on CML should be enhanced through disclosure of wider range of information and tighter monitoring by the financial supervisor and the National Assembly. According to the news reports in early 2013, a policy measure was taken to impose a ceiling on the amount of CML each bank can sell. Banks seemed to have responded to the measure by raising the loan interest rates. If the banks chose to increase the loan interest rate, one possible outcome is adverse selection. Safer borrowers whose risk levels fall within the given risk bracket may be unwilling to borrow at a higher interest rate than what their credit standing; as a result, the mix of borrowers within the pool becomes riskier. The second possibility is that an increase in the loan interest rate could worsen the likelihood for moral hazard problem. That is, those borrowers within the pool who have some latitude in their investment decisions may choose riskier projects at a higher loan interest rate. If the banks are exposed to the default risks, they will not raise the loan interest rates, because higher interest rates could mean lower expected profit for the banks. Since the banks are not responsible for the defaults, they are willing to raise the rates. Therefore, the quantity restriction should be avoided since it can only aggravate either adverse selection or moral hazard or both problems by those banks.