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Mortgage Rejections Surge after Age 50

You’re over 50. You have built up a lot of equity in your home, and your life savings is finally gaining some critical mass. And yet, your odds of being rejected for a refinancing mortgage start going up rapidly after age 50 and really accelerate around 70, according to a study by Natee Amornsiripanitch at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. This evidence, concludes a recent summary of the study, “is large and robust.” The research has important implications for older workers trying to prepare financially for Retirement or retirees planning to change their living arrangements. Higher rejection rates can throw a wrench into refinancing an existing mortgage, cashing out some home equity, and possibly downsizing to a less expensive home. Yes, rejecting borrowers based on age is illegal. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act bars discrimination due to age, race and many other reasons. However, the law does allow bankers…

Originally Published on https://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/

Kim Blanton Squared Away Blog Writer

I’m a veteran financial and economics reporter, most recently for The Boston Globe, who has also written for The Economist and other publications. I uncovered scandals during the savings and loan crisis in Texas back in the late 1980s, trekked around the world to cover finance and economics in the 1990s, and ventured into Boston neighborhoods to cover the recent subprime mortgage crisis.

While covering subprime mortgages, I began to see the importance of financial behavior and literacy. Wall Street excesses certainly fueled the crisis, but a poor understanding of complex financial products also played a major role. I interviewed dozens of homeowners in the grip of foreclosure who had agreed to home loans that they did not understand and that their brokers did not or could not explain to them. The consequences for these individuals – and the country – were disastrous.

I use the same dogged reporting skills to cover financial issues of growing importance today, including the personal crisis that concerns millions of baby boomers: Retirement.

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