New research shows that same-sex home buyers throughout the country may experience discrimination. According to Iowa State University, lenders are less likely to approve same-sex couples for a mortgage than heterosexual couples.

The Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business looked at mortgage information between the years of 1990 and 2015. In their research they found that same-sex couples were three to eight percent less likely to receive approval for  a mortgage. They also looked at a smaller set of more detailed mortgage applicant data. In that data, the chance of denial for same-sex applicants was 73% more likely than heterosexuals.

When same-sex couples did get approval, they paid higher interest rates and fees. The difference was less than .5%, but it totaled almost $86 million a year. Yet, there was no evidence showing that same-sex couples had a greater risk of defaulting on their mortgages.

The research shows that there is some discrimination of mortgage applicants. Although mortgage applicants don’t need to inform lenders of their sexual orientation, the lenders can come to their own conclusion. This could lead to discrimination, which is against the Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity acts.

According to Associate Professor of Finance Hua Sun, “Policymakers need to guarantee same-sex couples have equal access to credit.” This could make it less difficult for same-sex couples to buy a home together.

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