Adobe Stock/Brian Jackson

Black applicants for a conventional mortgage loan are turned down at more than twice the rate of white applicants, according to a new Zillow Research report. In 2016, 20.9% of black borrowers and 15.5% of Hispanic borrowers were denied, compared with only 8.1% of white borrowers and 10.4% of Asian applicants.

Denial rates have fallen nationwide for about a decade, to 9.8% in 2016, according to Zillow. However, the gap between denial rates for black and white applicants has widened somewhat over the past two decades. In the mid 1990’s, blacks were about twice as likely to be denied for a conventional mortgage loan, Zillow reports, while today that has increased to 2.6 times as likely. Zillow’s Sarah Mikhitarian points out a silver lining, however:

In 2007, 34.3 percent of black applicants and 30 percent of Hispanic applicants were denied for mortgages. White and Asian borrowers were denied 12.7 percent and 16.2 percent of the time in 2007, respectively. The percentage point gap between black and white borrowers in 2007 was 21.6 points. Today, that gap is just 12.8 points wide.

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