Gay couples are a lot less likely to be approved for a home loan, and they pay more for the mortgages they do get, according to a new analysis of more than 30 million U.S. home loans from 1990 to 2015.
Same-sex partners were 73% more likely to be denied a loan than male-female couples with the same financial profile, according to the study by Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business.
The higher fees, an average of 0.2 percentage points, are small for individual borrowers but add up to as much as $86 million a year, according to the research, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The penalties aren’t limited to LGBTQ borrowers. As more same-sex couples seek loans in a neighborhood, rejection rates and fees rise for other borrowers as well.
Although the U.S. has become far more accepting in recent decades, LGBTQ people are not explicitly protected from discrimination in federal lending laws, and a majority of states don’t prohibit housing and accommodation discrimination against LGBTQ residents.