Same-Sex Couples Face A Lending Discrimination Rate 75% More Often Than Straight Couples
A new study from Iowa State University shows systematic lending discrimination against same-sex couples.
The study found gay couples who received a mortgage paid a 0.5 percent higher interest rate on average.
The research was conducted by Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business. It correlated data from 30 million mortgages across the United States between 1990 and 2015.
Researchers also found that same-sex couples were 73% more likely to be denied a mortgage when compared to mixed-sex couples.
The study has raised questions about systemic LGBTI discrimination in the lending industry and the lack of protections for same-sex couples.
The study also found no correlation between mortgage rejections and same-sex couples being high-risk borrowers.
Lei Gao, assistant professor of finance and co-author of the paper stated:
Lenders can justify higher fees if there is [a] greater risk. We found nothing to indicate that’s the case. In fact, our findings weakly suggest same-sex borrowers may perform better.
Researchers said that while they could not definitively say the rejections were due to discrimination. However, the evidence heavily suggests this to be the case.
There are federal laws in place to protect mortgage applicants from discrimination. This includes discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sex. In addition to national origin, marital status, and age.
But these laws do not extend to protecting applicants based on their sexual orientation.
The study follows a recent survey which found that only 49% of same-sex couples own a home. This is in contrast with over 65% of mixed-sex couples owning their own property.
A separate study from June 2017 showed that property prices in areas with high numbers of gay residents were rising at a rapid rate.
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