On the one hand, many banks are increasingly offering loans for special groups of people, such as trainees, students or retirees. On the other hand, however, there are various studies that come to the conclusion that especially seniors are more likely to have a problem with getting a loan at all.
Some time ago, this issue was even addressed by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, some of which received complaints that citizens were “discriminated against”, inter alia because of their age, by not having received a loan.
Difficult situation for the banks
In principle, of course, each bank can decide for itself to which customers it lends a loan and to whom it refuses a loan. Of course, this freedom of choice must not go so far that certain customer groups are generally excluded from borrowing due to special features. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency also deals with such topics. For example, banks and, incidentally, all other companies are not allowed to generally exclude customers from your offer due to the following characteristics:
- sexual orientation
While some of these points are certainly plausible, the assessment of age is a little more difficult. In principle, banks can not be required to pledge, for example, an 80-year-old pensioner loan of more than EUR 50,000, simply because the likelihood is relatively high that the borrower will then die before the loan is fully repaid. On the other hand, it is of course difficult to draw an age limit as of when this risk is still acceptable and at what point the bank may, in good conscience, reject a loan application without being discredited or suspect that it would be discrimination based on age.
Tendency goes to the rejection of loans
On the basis of the complaints received, as regards discrimination in the area of lending in terms of age, the competent Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency has come to the conclusion that senior citizens seem to be increasingly denied a loan. Nonetheless, the Anti-Discrimination Agency also makes it clear that in these cases it has no power under the Anti-Discrimination Act.
However, she endeavors to reach an amicable agreement with the client and the respective bank. Often, the customer’s advice to his bank that he wants to engage with the anti-discrimination body is sufficient to ultimately obtain the desired credit.
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