Gimme Some Credit - An Introduction

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I'm Anthony Curcio and I want to welcome you to our blog - "Gimme Some Credit."

I love Federal Credit. I have decided to write this blog because I enjoy teaching and talking to people about Federal Credit and how to budget for it. Don’t get me wrong, not all Federal Credit programs are perfect; however, what I love is the skill and science of budgeting for them, no matter if a few may be outdated or redundant. I’m sure that makes me a supreme budgeting nerd, but gimme some credit; at least I made a career out of what I love.

What is Federal Credit? Federal Credit is a beltway noun that refers to Federal loans or Federal lending. Some people use the word Credit Reform as a synonym, but it’s getting hard to call something that is 20+ years old a “reform.” The biggest, most widely recognized Federal Credit program is run by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) which has insured over 34 million mortgages since it was created. Student Loans is another Federal Credit program that has touched a lot of folks. There are also small programs. Consider the “Repatriation” loan program, which issues less than 900 loans per year. Have a little too much fun in Bali and wake up on the beach with your wallet and passport stolen? Walk into any U.S. Consulate and they can make you a loan right on the spot to get you home, just because you are a U.S. citizen and they feel sorry for you.

If you love Federal Credit too, then you have chosen a worthy target for your affection. In case you haven’t noticed, using loans and lending as a Federal policy tool to get stuff done has become pretty popular these days, especially since the Great Recession began. Knowing how to budget for it or “score” it is critical as we try to cut the country’s budget and reduce costs. See below: pretty impressive.

Face Value of Federal Credit Outstanding

However, before you get too excited, see below my best guess as to how that growth looks when compared to GDP. Not nearly as ominous, but still, the growth of Federal Credit has been goosed since the financial crisis. Kinda hard to argue with that.

FedCred as a Percentage of National Output
**Above, I did my best to juxtapose the first graphic over a time series of GDP that I gleaned from the President’s Economic Assumptions. Nothing too fancy.

In any case, if your job is to budget for something that is growing rapidly, and Congress is cutting budgets for the next generation or so, your skill may come in handy. I hope this blog will help you do that job better.

Every few weeks (give or take) this blog will try to give the reader three things:

Central Topic: This will be a serious topic, one I encounter in the news or in the course of budgeting for loan programs. I will start with the new OMB Circular A-129 (Spoiler Alert: Get ready for increased reporting). This will be called “Gimme Some Credit.”

Tip: This will be a Federal Credit tip. Perhaps something I realized at 2 am the night before the reestimate Budget Data Request (BDR) was due. I’ll call this Credtip.

Factoid: This will be an interesting Federal Credit Factoid question. For all you fellow Federal Credit lovers, this is an opportunity to show me your stuff. Get the right answer and I’ll give you some credit in the next blog post. I’ll call this extra credit.

Thanks for reading.

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Topics: federal credit

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Summit is a specialized analytics advisory firm that guides clients as they decode their most complex analytical challenges. Our blog highlights the strategies and techniques we use, as well as relevant topics in current events.

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