Human Rights and Equity Programs

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8AM-4:30PM M-F

703-324-2953
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Ste 318
Fairfax, VA 22035

Kenneth Saunders,
Director

Credit Discrimination

Image of credit cardWho is protected?

For credit discrimination to be illegal in Fairfax County, it must be based on someone’s race; color; sex; age (over 40); national origin; religion; disability, or marital status.

It is important to know that it is also illegal to discriminate against someone because they have opposed illegal discrimination, filed a complaint, or assisted in an investigation. This is called retaliation, and the law protects those who oppose illegal behavior.

Examples of discriminatory actions:

A few examples of illegal discrimination with respect to credit are:

  • a savings and loan company refuses to grant a loan or discourages a qualified applicant from apply for a loan because of the applicant’s race.
  • a finance company imposes different terms or conditions, like a higher interest rate or higher fees, on a loan based on an applicant’s religion or national origin.
  • an underwriter refuses to guarantee a loan because of an applicant’s sex.
  • a credit union considers an applicant’s national origin. Please note that a creditor may consider immigration status and whether the applicant has the right to stay in the country long enough to repay the debt.
  • a bank asks about an applicant’s marital status when the applicant is applying for a separate, unsecured account.

File a Complaint

To file a complaint please complete the online questionnaire. For more information about credit discrimination contact the OHREP at 703.324.2953, 711 TTY.