Your ECOA Rights
Equal Credit Opportunity Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) of 1974 was put into effect to protect consumers from discrimination during the credit application and consideration process. The Act prohibits lenders from discriminating against borrowers or applicants because of race, gender, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, marital status, or because they are public assistance recipients. It is not illegal for creditors to request this information, however it is illegal for them to base any credit eligibility decisions on it. Moreover, none of this protected information be used in the establishment of rates and terms. There are various factors which affect credit eligibility as well as rate determination, such as income, expenses, debts, credit history, and credit score; but according to the ECOA, these are the exclusive factors which should be used in establishing credit, and never the protected information.
To Educate and Protect
The ECOA protects and educates consumers against discrimination from credit organizations, banks, finance companies, brokerages, department stores, credit card companies, credit unions, and other outfit which issues credit, with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) Disclosure. The disclosure must be issued to all applicants whose credit application has been denied, and all credit granters are bound to it’s terms. If you believe that your rights according to the ECOA have been violated, and complaints to the creditor have failed, then contact your state Attorney General’s office and learn your rights.