The study found that:
- Mortgage applications from most women and women with co-applicants are less likely to be originated than mortgage applications from men and men with co-applicants, even controlling for loan-to-income ratio.
- The disparities between the origination rates of men and women persist across both conventional and government-backed mortgages.
- Mortgage applications from low-income women were the only ones more likely to be originated than mortgage applications from men of similar income.
- Bank of America, US Bank, and Wells Fargo had above-average gender disparities across all categories for purchase loans, while Fifth Third Bank, Provident Funding Group, and US Bank had above-average gender disparities across all categories for refinance loans.
- Disparities between male and female origination rates were highest in Will County for both purchase and refinance mortgages, while disparities between male-headed and female-headed joint application origination rates were highest in Will County for purchase mortgages and in DuPage County for refinance mortgages.
- There were significant disparities in the reasons for denial between female applicants and male applicants.
Based on these findings, we recommend that:
- Mortgage lenders should examine their mortgage lending processes to detect and correct potentially discriminatory practices.
- Regulators should further investigate possible gender discrimination in mortgage lending practices, particularly for lenders with above-average disparities.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau must expeditiously finalize enhancements to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
- Policies to reduce the gender wage gap should be expanded and enforced.