An investigation by The Markup has found that lenders in 2019 were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to White people with similar financial characteristics—even when we controlled for newly available financial factors that the mortgage industry for years has said would explain racial disparities in lending.
Holding 17 different factors steady in a complex statistical analysis of more than two million conventional mortgage applications for home purchases, we found that lenders were 40 percent more likely to turn down Latino applicants for loans, 50 percent more likely to deny Asian/Pacific Islander applicants, and 70 percent more likely to deny Native American applicants than similar White applicants. Lenders were 80 percent more likely to reject Black applicants than similar White applicants. These are national rates.
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We sent our complete analysis to industry representatives: The American Bankers Association, The Mortgage Bankers Association, The Community Home Lenders Association, and The Credit Union National Association. They all criticized it generally, saying the public data is not complete enough to draw conclusions, but did not point to any flaws in our computations.