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Understanding The Equal Credit Opportunity Act - Essential Elements Women Must Understand

 by: Michael Saunders

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) was enacted by Congress to eliminate discrimination against women seeking to obtain credit. It was expanded to include the prohibition of denying credit based on a person's race, color, place of national origin, religion, sex, age, or marital status. Further, a woman who exercises her rights under the act cannot be "blacklisted" from obtaining credit.

One of the main problems with the ECOA is that it is difficult to prove discrimination since other reasons can be given for denial of credit. Another problem is that the people the law was designed to protect seldom exercise their rights, usually because of one of the following reasons:

1. Because credit rejection may be masqueraded by another reason, the applicant may not even realize she has been a victim of discrimination.

2. Most people don't know their rights under the law and are unaware of the ease of filing a complaint.

3. The applicant may not want to get involved with "fighting the system.

The general rule of thumb to determine whether you have been a victim of discrimination is to ask yourself if you would have been granted the loan if you were a non-minority with the same economic status. The following is a summary of your rights under the ECOA:  (continued...)
Understanding The Equal Credit Opportunity Act - Essential Elements Women Must Understand
  Page 2

About The Author

Michael Saunders has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He edits a site on Credit Repair and Debt Consolidation and is president of Information Organizers, LLC.



“I think, by 2018, there’s an opportunity for New Orleans to be viewed around the country, around the world, as a hub of entrepreneurship for the South,” says Tim Williamson, the CEO and cofounder of incubator The Idea Village, referring to the year the city will celebrate its 300th anniversary.




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