From 2004 to 2008, only 6.2 percent of white borrowers with credit

scores of 660 and above ended up with higher-rate mortgages. Latinos and

blacks with good credit scores, however, were three times as likely to

end up with higher-rate mortgages, according to an analysis published Thursday by Algernon Austin, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy program.

epi.pngThe Fair Isaac Corporation–the company that created the FICO score–classifies scores of 660 and above as “good,” but  Austin explains that black and Latino borrowers with a credit score of 660+ still received higher interest rate loans that resulted in higher foreclosure rates. “Higher foreclosure rates of these groups help explain why Latinos and blacks have seen such dramatic declines in wealth,” Austin wrote in his analysis available on EPI’s site.

“Discriminatory housing practices are one reason why our country needs

a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Austin went on to explain. “A powerful CFPB helps

make sure that everyone is treated equally and fairly by the financial

services industry.”’s editor Kai Wright points out that

been a recurring claim since the beginning of the housing crisis that

people who didn’t deserve loans got them. “The not-so-subtext of that has

been an attack on government programs that encouraged lending to black

and Latino borrowers. The claim has been demonstrably false from the

start, though it still gets repeated without challenge in mainstream


“This study is but the latest to make the point clear: We’re in

this crisis because the financial sector deliberately preyed upon

borrowers of color, who were left vulnerable after being locked out of

the legitimate credit market for generations,” Wright went on to say.