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ECOA, Creditors and the Elderly

Q: Does the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA") permit a creditor to favor elderly applicants when determining whether to extend credit?

A: Yes, although generally a creditor may not take into account an applicant’s age, 12 CFR Part 1002.6(b)(2) permits a creditor to "consider the age of an elderly applicant when such age is used to favor the elderly applicant in extending credit."

12 CFR Part 1002.2(o) defines elderly as "age 62 or older."

For example, if a 65 year old applies for a mortgage loan, the creditor may use their age as a factor in their favor for approving the loan. On the other hand, the creditor may not consider the age as a factor for not approving the loan.

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