The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits credit discrimination on the basis race, color, national origin, marital status, sex, or whether you receive public assistance. Credit issuers may not consider these factors when assessing your credit risk, nor can they impose different terms (i.e., higher interest rates) on the basis of these factors.
If you feel that a bank or finance company has either denied you credit, or has given you unreasonably costly credit, call me (646) 290-5600. This Act is strictly applied to creditors and it provides for compensation -- punitive damages even -- if violated. Attorneys' fees are paid by the other side; You may not need to pay me a dime until I recover damages for you.
This law obligates your creditors to retain -- for 25 months -- all documentation relating to your credit application. The creditor must also retain "evidence of the notification to the applicant of the action taken and the reasons for the adverse action."
This federal act is powerful yet virtually unheard of. It's one of 7 "Acts" that comprises the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The United States did a fine job, in my opinion, in implementing these consumer protection statutes to help ensure the rights of Americans amid our increasingly confusing and sophisticated money systems.