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All right, people are buying new houses and bidding on old ones, housing prices are up and everybody can start pursuing the American dream again.

Just not you, ladies. Lenders will tell you when it's your turn.

A new study by Chicago nonprofit The Woodstock Institute found that women who applied for a mortgage loan were 24% less likely to get one than their male counterparts. When women tried to refinance an existing mortgage, lenders were 39% less likely to approve them than they were to approve men making the same request.

The study pulls from a very specific sample in the Chicago area and even those conducting it suggest there may be larger issues at play. For example, 77% of female mortgage applicants for purchase mortgages had no co-applicant versus only 52% of male applicants. Similarly, 71% percent of female applicants for refinanced mortgages went solo while only 32% of male applicants did the same.

That said, the study says this pattern is basically in keeping with gender-based inequity elsewhere in the U.S. economic system. The disparity in pay between men and women performing the same jobs already gives employers a 22.6% discount on their female workers, who are basically working 59 days for free compared with male co-workers doing the exact same job.

Meanwhile, a 2011 study from the Institute for Women's Policy research found that women, on average, make 82% of what their male counterparts make. Though lawmakers approved the Lilly Ledbetter Act against pay discrimination in 2009 and are currently pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act that would make it illegal for employers to fire workers for discussing compensation, while nearly half of women in the workplace are either not allowed or are strongly discouraged by their employers from discussing pay information with co-workers.

According to the Democratic Policy and Communications Center, women make $434,000 less than men on average over the course of their careers. That starts right after college. Congress' joint economic committee says women make $7,600 less than men immediately following graduation. And it continues to the latter stages of their careers, when Catalyst says women make up just 6.2% of top earners. New legislation should close that gender pay gap, but the Institute for Women's Policy Research says that won't happen until 2056 at this rate.

Maybe then some guy behind a desk at a bank or lending agency will trust them with owning a home.


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