Could banks be discriminating against women in one of the largest U.S. cities? According to a report from the Woodstock Institute, a non-profit advocacy group, men in Chicago are far more likely to receive mortgages than women. The study analyzed 211,000 home purchase loan applications and almost 563,000 applications for mortgage refinancing between 2011 and 2013, with controls included for applicants’ income and the size of the loan sought. Female applicants were 14.5 percent less likely to receive a home purchase loan. When a female’s name headed a joint application, she was 28.3 percent less likely than a man to receive a loan. The main researcher on the report, Spencer Cowan, stopped short of accusing banks of any discrimination, and noted that there was also a lack of key data on factors such as credit scores that determine loan applicants’ outcomes.

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