[Call for Stories] Discrimination in Credit, Financial Services, & Community Lending

The Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research is collaborating with a national coalition of LGBTQ and anti-poverty organizations in co-authoring a national report on LGBTQ poverty, and recommendations to policymakers on how to enact practical reforms to protect LGBTQ people from disproportionate rates of poverty, homelessness, food-insecurity, health-insecurity, and economic insecurity.

To this national effort, CLEAR is adding its robust policy and data-driven understanding of discrimination, harassment, & economic inequality for LGBTQ persons by providing policy recommendations for U.S. leaders about issues pertaining to discrimination in credit, financial services, and community lending for consumers and for LGBTQ businesses and community groups.

There are numerous obstacles for LGBTQ consumers in the market for financial services. When LGBTQ consumers open accounts or attempt to access their funds, they at times encounter discriminatory attitudes from service professionals, or receive service that is harassing or inferior:  Almost 1-in-3 (32%) of LGBTQ student borrowers in 2018 reported discrimination from a financial advisor or professional. Analysis of mortgage lending data from the Federal Reserve by Iowa State researchers showed same-sex couples seeking home mortgages, as compared to heterosexual couples of similar financial and credit qualifications were rejected 73% more often than heterosexual couples, received .2% higher interest rates, on average, and overpaid $86M each year for home mortgages they received.

Personally, LGBTQ folks know that discrimination is an ongoing problem affecting us, and our communities. But to make the case—and the importance—of financial discrimination, CLEAR needs real-world personal narratives that can humanize and explain the current problems LGBTQ experience to U.S. legislators, party leaders, and the next Presidential administration.

Story Submission Process

Submissions should be uploaded as text responses—or uploaded as attachments—using the Online Story Submission Form on the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research website (https://lgbtq-economics.org/act/surveys/call-for-stories-discrimination-in-credit-financial-services-community-lending/).

CLEAR welcomes stories of all lengths for review. Questions for respondents to consider:

  • Have you been denied a loan, credit card, or mortgage because of your sexuality or gender?
  • Have you tried to open an account, but were denied the account because you could not provide matching documents that outed you as trans* or gender-nonconforming, or as having a same-sex partner?
  • Have you received harassing or inferior treatment from a financial professional when you disclosed your sexuality or gender-identity to them?
  • Have you ever avoided going to the Bank, or to dealing with a financial professional, because you were afraid of experiencing discrimination?
  • Has your business or community group been denied a loan unfairly because of your sexuality, gender-identity, or the sexuality and gender identities of the clientele that your establishment serves or benefits?

CLEAR will follow up with individuals to gain a fuller understanding about their unique story, and to discuss how it can best support CLEAR’s advocacy.

Selected submissions may be used (after obtaining the author’s permission regarding any publicity details) in CLEAR’s advocacy materials