African American Mayors Association Calls On Navy Federal Credit Union to Increase Transparency in Lending Practices

Published on March 6, 2024

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The African American Mayors Association calls on the Navy Federal Credit Union to answer regarding the findings of a December 2023 report that indicates Navy Federal rejected half of its Black mortgage applicants in 2022, while approving 75% of white mortgage applicants – the largest disparity of any major lender in the country.  AAMA mayors have worked diligently – in Washington, their respective state capitals, and in their cities – to make affordable homeownership a reality for all.  As a result, AAMA member mayors are calling for full transparency into the root causes of the patterns described in the report, Congressional hearings and investigations into Navy Federal’s mortgage business, and a clear plan for remediating Navy Federal’s conduct toward Black borrowers moving forward.

The Black-White homeownership gap is a significant concern for AAMA member mayors, the communities they represent, as well as the country. A recent National Association of Realtors report found that 44% of Black Americans owned a home in 2022 compared to 72% of White Americans – the largest Black-White homeownership rate gap in a decade.  With interest rates at historic highs, to have one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders engaging in what appears to be systemic discrimination against Black borrowers represents the kind of threat to Black homeownership that makes the work of Black mayors in equitable community development even more difficult than it already is.

“The findings in this recent report are unacceptable. We know that homeownership is a critical step in building generational wealth, and these lending practices are preventing Black Americans from an equitable chance to secure their financial future,” said AAMA President and Mount Vernon, NY Mayor Patterson-Howard. “We look forward to working with the newly appointed CEO, Dietrich Kuhlmann, in the near future. His position presents an opportunity to remediate the harm done to Black borrowers and Black communities by Navy Federal’s lending practices.”

AAMA stands ready to be a partner in Navy Federal’s remediation work and welcomes the opportunity to partner in the future.

Click here to view the letter addressing Navy Federal Credit Union.