Good morning, Credit Union Compliance World!
In a short space of time, your NAFCU Regulatory Compliance Team got pinged with a couple different versions of the same question – when can credit unions consider medical information in making credit decisions? It’s an area where most credit unions don’t have a lot of traffic.
Credit union compliance officers clearly have an instinct is that this is an Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) issue. This makes sense because it speaks to our sense of fairness, but neither ECOA nor Regulation B address the question. However, it is dealt with fairly directly by the FACTA amendments to the FCRA.
Section 604(g)(2) of the FCRA (codified at 15 U.SC. § 1681b(g)(2)) generally prohibits credit unions from obtaining or using medical information in connection with any determination for credit. This applies to any creditor and “medical information” is defined to include any information relating to physical, mental or behavioral health of an individual.
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