Equal Credit Opportunity Act

(ECOA) This regulation prohibits practices that discriminate, and was enacted to promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract). Pretty sure your team is all over it.

The law requires that all customers have an equal chance to obtain credit. This does not mean that every customer who applies for credit will receive it, but it does mean that all customers must be treated equally in their pursuit of credit. In general, this means the company cannot discriminate against a customer in a credit transaction based on his or her:

  • national origin
  • marital status
  • religion
  • sex
  • color
  • race
  • age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract)
  • receipt of public assistance benefits.

Penalties for violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act can be severe and include substantial fines and punitive damages.

If not, check out how the FTC describes consumers’ rights when buying a car: