Know Your Rights: Equal Treatments for Credit Applications

Rights of consumers in debtIt’s not because you’re in debt that you’re in a hopeless situation in which you must agree with everything that crosses your path. Steps have been taken by the Federal Trade commission in order to make sure that everybody who applies for credit in the United States is judged under the same terms as everybody else. The ECOA or Equal Credit Opportunity Act is enforced by the FTC. Its purpose is to make sure that you are not discriminated against while applying for credit. The ECOA protects all of us from a number of discrimination factors.

Consumer Rights Granted By the ECOA

When you apply for credit, creditors may not reject your application for credit based on your race, skin color, religion or religious practices, country of origin, history of public assistance, age, gender, or marital status. Creditors may also not discourage you in any way to apply for credit based on the same factors. There are times when creditors may ask for information relating to these factors, but they may not be taken into consideration during your credit applications. During a credit application if these questions are asked, they are usually done so for survey purposes. Frequently, the questions about these factors are optional.

Logo of the FTCCreditors are also not allowed to enact higher interest rates or fees based on the above factors as well. Creditors aren’t allowed to ask if you are widowed or divorced, and they may not ask for specifics about your marital status unless your spouse is applying for credit with you. Your spouse may be used in the account being applied for if you are relying on your spouse’s income, or if you live in a community property state. Creditors may also ask for information about your ex-spouse if you are relying on their child support or alimony. They cannot ask about any of your future plans for having or bringing up children, but they can ask about any expenses incurred as a result of your dependents. Basically, this means that when you apply for credit you may not charged more or less money based upon any factors that are not financially related.

The FTC protects consumer rights by making sure that everybody’s credit eligibility is measured under the same terms. The ECOA was created with this specific intent in mind to make sure that any United States citizen that applied for credit was given a fair chance to receive it.

Top 3 Debt Relief Programs