Obtaining and managing credit is a part of daily life for most Americans. Our credit scores are used to determine eligibility for new accounts or loans, for housing, and even for new employment. Because our credit is such an essential part of our lives, credit discrimination can cause serious problems. Preventing and recognizing credit discrimination can help you to avoid potential problems.
Types of Discrimination
A creditor may discriminate against a consumer by:
Denying credit that the consumer has already been approved for.
Offering someone less favorable credit terms than someone in a similar situation has been approved for.
Discouraging a consumer from applying for credit.
Closing a consumer’s account with no cause.
These types of discrimination are illegal if they’ve been determined on the basis of race, age, sex, religion, or national origin. It is also illegal for creditors to discriminate against you because you receive income from a public assistance program, or because you have chosen to exercise your rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Signs of Discrimination
Credit discrimination is more common than you might think, but often times those who are falling victim to it aren’t aware of what is happening. Some of the signs that you might be experiencing credit discrimination include creditors who pressure you to sign for credit, or who are offering terms that seem too good to be true. If you are discouraged from applying for credit, or if you are treated differently when you show up in person than you were on the phone, these can be red flags too. If you are denied credit for an unknown reason, and the creditor won’t tell you why, or if you are offered different credit terms than the ones you originally qualified for, these are also signs of discrimination.
Tips for Avoiding Credit Discrimination
The best thing you can do to protect yourself against credit discrimination is to be familiar with your credit report information on a continual basis. This will help you to know what to expect when applying for credit, to take care of any problems in a timely manner, and to recognize inconsistencies between what a creditor is telling you and what is actually on your credit report.
Seeking a Home Loan with Axiom Financial
Axiom encourages you to do your homework as you apply for a home loan. Your mortgage consultant at Axiom will encourage you to ask a lot of questions throughout the process. He or she will also make you aware of all of your rights as a borrower and educate you on all of the loan programs you may qualify for. Axiom’s goal is for you to feel confident that you have a loan with the terms and conditions that you qualify for.
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/fair-lending/.