Banks Prefer White Men For Mortgage Loans, Study Finds

If you’re a black woman looking for to refinance your home, the forces of discrimination are working against you. If you’re a white man, you’ll probably have an easier go of it.

According to a new study from the Woodstock Institute, banks discriminate on the basis of both gender and race when they make decisions about which loans they’ll approve. That goes for both mortgage applications and refinancing loans, and it’s worst for African American women:

Female-headed joint applications are much less likely to be originated than are male-headed joint applications. Controlling for the loan-to-income ratio, female-headed joint applications overall were 24 percent less likely to have purchase mortgages originated, and 39 percent less likely to have refinance mortgages originated, than were male-headed joint applications. The disparities were maintained across all racial categories. The largest disparity is for African American female-headed joint applications for purchase, which were 34 percent less likely to be originated than were African American male-headed joint applications, and refinance applications, which were 44 percent less likely to be originated.

Latino and Asian women, too, struggle to get trust from the banks, as this chart illustrates:


The blatant discrimination from banks exposed in this study isn’t the first of its kind. Indeed, the industry has a long and sordid history of discrimination. Last year, one mortgage company forked over $3.5 million after an investigation found it had been overpricing loans to non-white borrowers. Similarly, Bank of America paid out the Department of Housing and Urban Development after it denied a home mortgage to a lesbian couple.

(HT: Next New Deal)