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Can a lender or dealer consider my age, my receipt of part-time income, or my retirement income when deciding whether to give me an auto loan?

Generally, a creditor such as a lender or dealer cannot use your age to make credit decisions.

There are exceptions to this rule, such as:

  • If the applicant is too young to enter into a contract. State law governs the age at which you can enter into a legally binding contract
  • Age can be considered in a valid credit scoring system. The credit scoring system may not disfavor applicants 62 years old or older. It may favor applicants 62 years or older
  • A lender or dealer may relate your age to other information about you that the lender or dealer considers in evaluating creditworthiness. For example, a lender or dealer may consider your job and length of time to retirement to determine whether your income, including your retirement income, will be adequate for the life of the loan.

A lender or dealer cannot discount or refuse to consider income that comes from:

  • part-time employment
  • an annuity, pension, or other retirement benefit
  • a public assistance program. This includes, but is not limited to, social security and supplemental security income (SSI), unemployment compensation, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Like all other forms of income, however, a creditor such as a lender or dealer can consider the amount of the income and likelihood that it will continue.