A law enacted in 1977 that requires the Federal Reserve and all other federal banking regulators to encourage financial institutions and lenders to meet the credit needs of American communities, particularly in low-income communities. Banks that have CRA obligations are regulated by the federal government which issues ratings and performance evaluations. Performance rankings are based on a bank’s performance in relation to its size and mission and is somewhat subjective. Scores are publicly available online. Lending institutions may only consider factors directly relevant to an applicant’s ability to pay a loan when issuing a loan.