More For Your Money - University of Illinois Extension

Creditor Guidelines

Couple buying a car

Under the law, there are certain things that a potential creditor may and may not ask. A creditor may not:

  • Ask about childbearing intentions.
  • Ask about race, creed, color, national origin, or sex, except when it is required to do so by a government agency.
  • Discourage applicants from applying for credit because of sex or marital status.
  • Discourage women from applying for their own individual accounts.

A creditor may request information about a spouse only if:

  • A couple is jointly applying for credit or the spouse will be an authorized buyer on the account.
  • The applicant is relying on community property or a spouse’s income for credit worthiness.

All creditors are required by the Truth-in-Lending Act to state the cost of their credit to consumers.

To learn more about the credit protection laws, explore these websites:

  • Truth in Lending Act- Lenders must tell you the cost of credit.
  • Fair Credit Billing Act – Sets rules for fixing mistakes on credit bills and electronic fund transfer account statements.