The equal credit opportunity act was created by the Congress to prevent discrimination against women when it came to granting credit. This law was expanded to include laws against discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age or marital status. Apart from including laws and guidelines to prevent discrimination against women seeking credit, this law also prohibits any form of retaliatory action such as blacklisting if a woman exercises her rights under the equal credit opportunity act. Some of the few features of the equal credit opportunity act are:
· The lender cannot ask for a person to cosign if you have a sufficient debt to income ratio.
· The woman is allowed to use her maiden or other married name or a combination of both.
· The creditor may enquire upon factors that may influence your disposable income such as the number of dependents but may not enquire about your practices on birth control on your plans to parenthood.
· The creditor must consider all forms of income such as alimony, child support, public assistance and part-time work. The woman is within her rights not disclose a particular line of income in which case it will not be taken into consideration when calculating the debts to income ratio.
· A woman cannot automatically be denied credit if she lists herself as a housewife.
· If there is change in the marital status of the woman, or she chooses to change her name legally, the creditor cannot ask the woman to reapply unless the earlier account was a joint account between her and her former husband.
· A woman’s marital status cannot be a part of the credit application approval process if she is trying to obtain credit separate unsecured credit. The exception is for states where community property is laws apply which are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Washington.