Digital mortgage platforms have the potential to reduce discrimination. But automated systems provide rich opportunities to perpetuate bias, too.
“I found the idea of going to a bank completely intimidating and impossible,” she said. “I was a divorced woman and a Black woman. And also being a contractor — I know it’s frowned upon, because it’s looked at as unstable. There were so many negatives against me.” Then, last year, Ms. Anderson was checking her credit score online when a pop-up ad announced that she was eligible for a mortgage, listing several options. She ended up at Better.com, a digital lending platform, which promised to help Ms. Anderson secure a mortgage without ever setting foot in a bank or, if she so desired, even talking to another human.