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What can I do if I think a mortgage 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; and
  • 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 credit (including a home mortgage, refinancing, home equity loan, or business loan) because of:

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity)
  • Marital status
  • Age (if the applicant is old enough to enter into a contract)
  • You’ve received income from any 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 Nutritional Assistance Program benefits (SNAP). Some Veterans’ benefits may also be considered income from a public assistance program (in which case no creditor may discriminate against a veteran on the basis of receiving such benefits).
  • 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 sexual orientation and gender identity)
  • Handicap (disability)
  • Familial status

Tip: State or local law may 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 .

Service in the military—whether current or prior service—is not a protected class under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). Some state laws do make it illegal to discriminate against you based on military or veteran status.

If you are a servicemember or veteran and believe you may have been discriminated against due to your military service, then contact your closest legal assistance (JAG) office to seek help. You also may be able to get assistance from your state attorney general .

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.