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Can a lender or broker consider my sex or marital status when deciding whether to give me a mortgage or home equity loan?

A creditor such as a lender or broker cannot discriminate on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity) or marital status.

With respect to most mortgage transactions, a lender or broker may ask for your sex, but only to support compliance with anti-discrimination laws.

If you are applying for joint credit or credit secured by collateral (like a mortgage or home equity loan), the lender or broker may only ask if you are married, unmarried, or separated. The lender or broker may explain that the unmarried category includes single, divorced, and widowed persons. Lenders can’t require married same-sex couples to provide different documentation of their marriage than married opposite-sex couples.

A lender or broker may consider your marital status as it affects the creditor’s ability to reach the property in the event of nonpayment. For example, for mortgage and home equity loans, a creditor could consider whether your spouse has an interest in the property that is being offered as collateral for the loan.

Submit a complaint with the CFPB

If you believe a lender has discriminated against you for any reason, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372). You’ll need the dates, amounts, and other details about your complaint before submitting. We’ll provide you a way to monitor the status and progress of your complaint.

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