A mortgage lender gave me a higher interest rate than I should have gotten based on my creditworthiness. What can I do if I think the lender discriminated against me?

According to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), it's illegal for a mortgage lender or broker to discriminate against you when you're applying for a mortgage or home equity loan because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (gender)
  • Marital status
  • Age (if the applicant is old enough to enter into a contract)
  • You've received income from any public assistance program
  • You've exercised a right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which is a collection of consumer protection laws, including ECOA, relating to credit

The Fair Housing Act also makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone who is seeking a mortgage, home equity loan, or loan to build, repair, or improve a home on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (gender)
  • Handicap (disability)
  • Familial Status

This means that a lender or broker can't use any of the above grounds as a reason to:

  • Provide you a mortgage or home equity loan on terms that are different from the terms given to someone else who is similarly situated to you, such as having similar creditworthiness
  • Refuse you a mortgage or home equity loan if you qualify for it
  • Discourage you from applying for a mortgage or home equity loan
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