The sub-prime lending crisis has affected a broad range of consumers, with nearly every demographic represented within today's rising foreclosure statistics. However, as the foreclosure crisis deepens, increased scrutiny into the workings of the lending industry has exposed some interesting details about the general business practices involved with mortgage approval. Among the details that have come to light recently is a pattern of discrimination throughout the home loan industry.

While the mortgage industry states that customers are approved or not strictly on the merits of credit rating and financial standing, statistics show that this is very often not the case. Women make up a disproportionately large portion of the sub-prime borrower pool, denied access to prime lending products more often than men of comparable credit ratings and income levels. This trend leaves women more vulnerable to the financial troubles that are currently sweeping through the sub-prime mortgage industry.

In 2004, the Federal Reserve began to require detailed data from the sub-prime mortgage industry on their loans. This new reporting requirement has shown a disturbing disparity in the loan products for which women were able to be approved as opposed to loans obtained by similarly situated men. Single women are a larger percentage of home buyers than ever before, purchasing nearly one in five homes sold in 2003. Among these women, African American and Latino are more active participants in the home purchase loan market. Women are the borrowers in 46.7 percent of the home loans granted to African Americans and 31.4 percent of loans made to Latinos, while women represent 28.4 percent of loans made to whites. Despite the fact that the average woman tends to have better credit scores than men of comparable financial circumstances, they are not treated equally when shopping for home mortgage products.