New data from the Federal Reserve Board confirm what minority home buyers have known for decades: It's easier to get a mortgage if you're white. In 1990, lenders rejected 33.9% of black applicants, 21.4% of Hispanics, and 14.4% of whites. The results were similar for all comparable income levels. But bankers said the data didn't take into account such factors as credit history and financial assets, which they say could explain the different approval rates.

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