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Equal Credit Opportunity Act - Learn how to start improving your credit today.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) ensures that all consumers are given an equal chance to obtain credit. This doesn’t mean all consumers who apply for credit get it: Factors such as income, expenses, debt, and credit history are considerations for creditworthiness.

The law protects you when you deal with any creditor who regularly extends credit, including banks, small loan and finance companies, retail and department stores, credit card companies, and credit unions. Anyone involved in granting credit, such as real estate brokers who arrange financing, is covered by the law. Businesses applying for credit also are protected by the law.

When you apply for credit, a creditor may not.ask you to tell them your sex, race, country of birth, or religion. Nor discourage you from applying based on what was just stated. They may not ask for information about your spouse unless you are applying jointly, nor your plans on having or raising children.

When deciding to give you credit, a creditor may not.consider your sex, race, country of birth, or religion. Nor consider the race of people in the neighborhood you plan on buying or refinancing. They also may not consider you age unless, you are younger than 18 or older than 62.

When evaluating your income, a creditor may not.refuse to consider public assistance, part-time employment, pensions, annuity, retirement benefits, alimony, or child support as other income.

You also have the right to.keep your own accounts after you change your name, marital status, reach a certain age, or retire. You have the right to know if your application was accepted or rejected within 30 days, if rejected you have the right to know why.

If you suspect discrimination.complain to the creditor, check with your state Attorney General to see if they violated any laws. You can also bring the case to federal district court or join in a class action lawsuit. Remember to report violations to the appropriate government agency.

If you would like to see The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) in it's entirety click here.

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