“All we’re saying is, this is what the data show: Female applicants are less likely to get loans originated than male applicants,” lead researcher Spencer Cowan told the Chicago Tribune. “We don’t have basic underwriting criteria … we don’t have the value of the property or any credit score range or debt-to-income ratio.”

Cowan concedes the study lacked certain data – including applicant credit scores – and, as such, refused to outright accuse lenders of any gender bias.

However, the vice president with the Chicago based research non-profit hopes the regulators will take note of the study and provide the organization with more data.

“We can’t look at it and say cause and effect,” he said. “Maybe (the report) will get the regulators’ attention, maybe they will get access to better data.”

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