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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Richardson

Viewpoint: Path of Progress


Rebecca Richardson Scotsman Guide Article

For most of human history, women have been financially dependent on men. This was not by choice — women simply didn’t have the right to control their own finances. Universal access to banking, credit and mortgages is still relatively new.

In October of next year, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 will mark its 50th anniversary. This landmark legislation prohibits lenders from discriminating against a borrower on the basis of gender or marital status, and it was amended in 1976 to protect against other forms of discrimination, including race, age and religion.

“Mortgage professionals, as the face of the business, have a responsibility to champion equal access and financial literacy.”

The impact of the ECOA is evident today. Single women now outnumber single men as homebuyers. Women are earning more bachelor’s degrees than men and their average credit scores are identical. But obstacles still exist as women face pay gaps, sexism, harassment and a gender gap in financial literacy.

As women have evolved from second-class citizens to breadwinners, the mortgage industry also needs to evolve to serve and educate them with safety and respect. Mortgage professionals, as the face of the business, have a responsibility to champion equal access and financial literacy.

Rebecca Richardson for the Scotsman Guide

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