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Economy and Business

People of color pay more for home loans in Cleveland
Government-backed loans cost 1.5 percent more than standard loans

Kelli Fitzpatrick
In The Region:

A new report finds that people of color in Cleveland are more likely to pay more because they’re more likely to get government-backed home loans.

More than 85 percent of borrowers who are black got government-backed loans in 2010, compared to 47 percent of whites.

Charles Bromley is director of the Ohio Fair Lending Coalition, which participated in the report. He says loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration cost 1.5 percent more than conventional loans.

Bromley claims banks “steer” non-white borrowers to more expensive loans.

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“People contact a broker searching for a mortgage, and [the broker says], ‘Oh, I just have a friend, just a great person for you…this is where you need to go to get your loan.’ You get steered to a loan—good, bad or indifferent, that’s what’s been going on for a number of years. It’s manipulation in and out of neighborhoods based upon race.”

Bromley contends the steering  created a pattern of lending in  Cleveland, in whichg black  borrowers took out government-backed loans more than three times as often as white; Latinos, almost two times as often. 

The recent report is based on 2010 numbers; Bromley says statistics from 2011 will be available in September.

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