Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act
H.R. 2498; S. 1143
Securing credit is critical to some of the most important undertakings in life, including buying a home, going to college or starting a small business. Credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics, such as race and sex, that are unrelated to creditworthiness and our nation’s civil rights laws reflect that. However, there is no federal law that consistently protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people from credit discrimination, and it remains legal in many states to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result, in many places, LGBTQ people can still be denied a mortgage, credit card, student loan or other type of lending simply because of who they are.
What is the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act?
The Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA) would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to prohibit discrimination in the provision of credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity. FDCA simply extends the basic protections afforded under ECOA to LGBTQ Americans.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws prohibiting credit discrimination generally based on sexual orientation, and another two states prohibit such discrimination only in real estate financing. Nine states and D.C. prohibit gender identity-based discrimination in credit transactions generally, with another two prohibiting discrimination in financial transactions related to real estate.
What is the Current Status of the Bill?
The FDCA was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and in the Senate by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on May 17, 2017.