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Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which is part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, was adopted on May 29, 1968. The law is designed to promote credit availability to all credit-worthy applicants, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age.

The ECOA requires bankers to treat all similarly situated credit applicants equally based solely on their credit qualifications and not any of the prohibited bases such as race, national origin, gender or age. It is one of the two main pillars of the nation’s fair lending laws (the other is the Fair Housing Act). The statute is implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Regulation B.

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