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Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

Definition - What does Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) mean?

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act refers to 1974 law passed in the United States that made it a crime for any person lending money to discriminate against any borrower based on the borrower’s age, marital status, sex, national origin, religion, color, or race. The specific statute can be found at 15 U.S.C. § 1691.

Justipedia explains Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

As a result of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the only factors that can be used in order to determine whether a person is eligible for a loan or a mortgage is the person’s financial information. A lender is allowed to ask questions about a person’s age, marital status, sex, national origin, religion, color, or race, but the person is not required to answer any of the questions with the exception of age. The only reason that a person must verify their age is so that the lender can ensure that the person is at least 18 years of age.

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