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Setting A Realistic Budget

When I decided to budget a little more carefully, I had no idea how difficult it would be. Fortunately, I was able to talk with a few financial advisors who were able to point me in the right direction. One of the best pieces of advice I received was about setting a realistic budget. I learned how to effectively manage my money, so that I didn't have to worry about paying my bills or letting my accounts overdraft. This blog is designed to help people like me who have previously struggled with money. Check out these articles for financial advice that might help you to set a realistic budget.

Setting A Realistic Budget

Credit Discrimination: What You Need To Know As A Consumer

by Leo Austin

Do you think that you've been the victim of credit discrimination? The Equal Credit Opportunity Act is designed to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of a protected class. Though credit scores themselves can be used to determine whether a borrower is creditworthy, there are certain things that should not factor into a final decision.

Are You A Protected Class?

Anti-discrimination laws only protect those who are in an explicitly protected class. These classes include: race or color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age (if no longer a minor), and public assistance income. If you feel as though you've been discriminated against but it is not related to these factors, it will not fall under a discrimination act. However, it can be tangentially related. For instance, a creditor who refuses credit to a woman because she is unwed would still be doing it on the basis of her gender.

Have You Been Discriminated Against?

Discrimination occurs when you've been refused credit that you would otherwise have qualified for on the basis of being a member of a protected class. It can also occur if you are discouraged from filling out a credit application or if you are given different rates than others of similar creditworthiness. As with the above gender example, this could occur if women were regularly given higher interest rates than men because the creditor deemed them "higher risk" -- even though their credit scores were the same. 

How Can You Avoid Discrimination?

When looking for credit either online or over the phone, you should be cautious if you are asked to divulge your membership in any protected class. A creditor should not need to know your race, religion, or age (beyond legal requirements for age). If you are applying for credit in person, you may want to look for signals that the creditor is not happy with your application. They may mention that you are a member of the protected group in question, or they may deny you outright for credit without even checking your credit history. Credit laws require that you be told via mail why you were declined for credit; if you do not receive this, the answer may be less than savory. 

If you feel as though you have been discriminated against, the best thing to do is usually to submit a complaint through the Consumer Finance department of the government. Document the discrimination thoroughly -- you can also consider contacting a lawyer if you feel that you have suffered financial damages. Contact a company like Financial Guidance Center for more information.

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