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Can a lender or broker consider my sex or marital status when deciding whether to give me a mortgage or home equity loan?

A creditor such as a lender or broker cannot discriminate on the basis of sex or marital status.

With respect to most mortgage transactions, a lender or broker may ask for your sex, but only to support compliance with anti-discrimination laws.

If you are applying for joint credit or credit secured by collateral (like a mortgage or home equity loan), the lender or broker may only ask if you are married, unmarried, or separated. The lender or broker may explain that the unmarried category includes single, divorced, and widowed persons. 

A lender or broker may consider your marital status as it affects the creditor’s ability to reach the property in the event of nonpayment. For example, for mortgage and home equity loans, a creditor could consider whether your spouse has an interest in the property that is being offered as collateral for the loan.

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