Equal Credit Opportunity Act Law and Legal Definition

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to prohibit credit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age. Not everyone who applies for credit gets it or gets the same terms. Factors like income, expenses, debts, and credit history are among the considerations lenders use to determine creditworthiness. The law provides protections when dealing with any organizations or people who regularly extend credit, including banks, small loan and finance companies, retail and department stores, credit card companies, and credit unions.