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I applied for a home mortgage loan. What can I do if I think a lender discriminated against me?

If you think you’ve been discriminated against by a lender or creditor, check for your local state protections. You can also submit a complaint with the CFPB.

Look out for warning signs

Discrimination by a creditor is often hidden or even unintentional, which can make it hard to spot. Pay attention to these potential warning signs:

  • Refusing you credit if you qualify for it
  • Discouraging you from applying
  • Offering you less favorable credit terms
  • Closing your account

Understand credit discrimination protections

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) makes it illegal for a creditor, such as a lender or mortgage broker, to discriminate against you when you're applying for a home mortgage, refinancing, or home equity loan because of:

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (including 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 in good faith 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 based on:

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (including gender)*
  • Handicap (disability)
  • Familial status

*Currently, the law supports arguments that the prohibition against sex discrimination also affords broad protection from discrimination based on a consumer’s gender identity and sexual orientation.

Seek out additional guidance on credit discrimination in your state

State or local law may also prohibit discrimination for other reasons. If you think you may have been a victim of unlawful discrimination, you may want to consult an attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, you can view this list of free legal services through legal aid in your state or find lawyer referrals in your county and state .

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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