Goldman Sachs Offers to Reevaluate Apple Card Credit Limits After Claims of Gender Bias

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Apple banking partner Goldman Sachs has issued another statement regarding allegations made earlier in the week that some credit decisions for Apple Card have been made in a discriminatory manner on the basis of gender.


In a typed statement, an image of which was shared on Twitter on Monday night with the comment "We hear you #AppleCard," Goldman Sachs retail bank CEO Carey Halio said that the bank would take another look at credit lines for customers who expected higher limits.
"We have not and never will make decisions based on factors like gender," Halio said. "In fact, we do not know your gender or marital status during the Apple Card application process."
The CEO added that Goldman Sachs worked with a third-party to review its credit decisioning process "to guard against unintended biases and outcomes."
If you believe that your credit line does not adequately reflect your credit history because you may be in a similar situation, we want to hear from you. Based on additional information that we may request, we will re-evaluate your credit line.
Over the weekend, app developer David Heinemeier Hansson claimed on social media that his ?Apple Card? credit limit was twenty times that offered to his wife, even though the couple has been married for many years, file joint tax returns, and live in a community property state where all income and assets acquired while married are considered jointly owned.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also reported that his ?Apple Card? credit limit was ten times that offered to his wife, with the Wozniaks in a similar financial situation where all assets are jointly owned.

In response, the New York State Department of Financial Services announced that it would would examine whether the algorithm used to make the credit limit decisions violates state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.

In Goldman Sachs' original response to the controversy, the bank maintained that factors like gender are never used in credit decisions and explained how members of a family could receive very different credit decisions.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Goldman Sachs Offers to Reevaluate Apple Card Credit Limits After Claims of Gender Bias
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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Factors that don’t affect your FICO credit score:
  • Being married for many years
  • Gender
  • Filing joint taxes
  • Living in a community property state
  • Assets, no matter their value—$1,000 or $100 million—regardless of whether they are individually or jointly owned
  • Income, be it individual, joint, from social security, a trust fund, or even if it is non-existent. You can be a CEO of a Fortune 10 company or collect cans and bottles for recycling, whether you make $100/year or $100 million/year. Doesn’t matter.
  • Whether you rent a run down shack on the wrong side of the tracks or live in a gated community in a $50 million mansion.
 

IbisDoc

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2010
508
337
No doubt that this algorithm just hit Tim or his spouse’s credit limit. That’s why the bank’s dumb statement only lasted a day.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
5,143
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Sunnyvale, CA
Factors that can affect your initial credit line as determined by manual or automated underwriting:
  • Credit score
  • Stated income
  • Debt to (stated) income ratio
  • Verified income
  • Assets
  • Size of credit lines on other revolving accounts
  • Almost anything in your credit file, which is probably already reflected in your FICO score but which may be given additional weight, including:
    • Late payments, especially if recent
    • Number of accounts with balances
    • Ratio of revolving balance(s) to credit line(s)—individually and/or in the aggregate
    • Existence of a public record, such as judgment, lien or bankruptcy
    • Open installment accounts, such as auto loan
    • Existence of a mortgage loan
    • Length of credit history/age of oldest account
    • Recently opened accounts
    • Requests for your credit file by other lenders aka inquiries
    • etc.
Even if two people have the same credit score and even the same income, the above factors will result in drastically different credit limits being offered for new accounts. One bogus collection can cost you 125 points and get you a $1,000 limit instead of $10k or $20k.
 

max.ine

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2016
253
363
I don’t trust banks at all, but this seems like the only smart move from a PR perspective. It’s giving people the option to be re-checked so they can really see if it’s the company’s supposed bias or just them.
 

Adam Warlock

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2016
208
1,286
Why do companies even take this sort of nonsense seriously? Because 'media' sites pick this sort of **** up and spread it around like so much bovine manure? Who cares? It's best to give this sort of garbage it's due in actual value: nothing. Sooner or later the distributors of this crap will give up when they notice it doesn't have any effect.
 

NufSaid

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2015
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The Woz is smart but that isn’t how credit works. Spouses frequently have different credit limits due to how loans and cards are issued.
It isn’t what you own that affects your credit (to credit cards).

a non story that was run because it was Apple.
 

Coconut Bean

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
193
127
Factors that don’t affect your FICO credit score:
  • Being married for many years
  • Gender
  • Filing joint taxes
  • Living in a community property state
  • Assets, no matter their value—$1,000 or $100 million—regardless of whether they are individually or jointly owned
  • Income, be it individual, joint, from social security, a trust fund, or even if it is non-existent. You can be a CEO of a Fortune 10 company or collect cans and bottles for recycling, whether you make $100/year or $100 million/year. Doesn’t matter.
  • Whether you rent a run down shack on the wrong side of the tracks or live in a gated community in a $50 million mansion.
It's a score not a "you are guaranteed this much credit for this APR"-score, banks can (and do) have their proprietary risk models. If they want they can put the color of your house in the model...
 

cardfan

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2012
2,259
2,978
The Woz is smart but that isn’t how credit works. Spouses frequently have different credit limits due to how loans and cards are issued.
It isn’t what you own that affects your credit (to credit cards).

a non story that was run because it was Apple.
Much of the time one spouse gets a card. The other is an authorized user. The Apple Card was a bit different because it didn’t offer this. But authorized users don’t have same credit going forward.

The funny part is the twitter outrage as people who were ignorant all of a sudden get aware of how things work.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
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This is so stupid. And it’s only making national headlines because Apple. Google admits it has a deal with one of the largest health systems to gobble up all kinds of patient/hospital data for analysis (without informing the patients or the hospital workers) and that barely gets a mention. But one blue check mark goes on an Apple rant on Twitter and it’s all over the news.
 

cardfan

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2012
2,259
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This is so stupid. And it’s only making national headlines because Apple. Google admits it has a deal with one of the largest health systems to gobble up all kinds of patient/hospital data for analysis (without informing the patients or the hospital workers) and that barely gets a mention. But one blue check mark goes on an Apple rant on Twitter and it’s all over the news.
Yeah I had no clue who the guy was that went on the twitter rant. He’s still going from what I hear. GS writes a letter. He responds “that’s not good enough “.

“We don’t use gender period. We don’t ask for it. “


“that’s not good enough! It’s the algorithm! It’s biased. It’s the black box!!”

You can’t make this stuff up. Just another nut job. Probably should go into politics.
 

bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,245
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Chicago
If these people want to be taken seriously then they need to post all their information that was used in determining the credit limit. Put all the information out there so people can make up their mind. At this point it's just a bunch of SJW's screaming sexism.

And isn't this all just a dick measuring contest? Are people really spending to their credit limit...? I have a $7,500 credit limit with them. I will almost definitely (unless tragedy strikes) never even come close to that.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,091
1,391
No one really wants algorithms determining outcomes based on objective measures - they always have this tendency to reveal truths the modern world wants to deny- groups and even gender differ in behaviors and outcomes and impartial algorithms reveal it.
 

The Mercurian

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2012
2,013
2,243
No one really wants algorithms determining outcomes based on objective measures - they always have this tendency to reveal truths the modern world wants to deny- groups and even gender differ in behaviors and outcomes and impartial algorithms reveal it.
By "truths" what you mean is that algorithms are revealing the underlying biases we have structrued into society over generations of course.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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Sunnyvale, CA
It's a score not a "you are guaranteed this much credit for this APR"-score, banks can (and do) have their proprietary risk models. If they want they can put the color of your house in the model...
FICO credit scores are predictive of the borrower’s risk of default, unlike house color.
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,766
1,835
How do y’all think they’ll fix this - raise the credit limit for women or a lower limit for the men?
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
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How do y’all think they’ll fix this - raise the credit limit for women or a lower limit for the men?
We don’t even know if there is any gender bias in Goldman’s underwriting. But if women’s credit limits are higher, maybe it because they’re more creditworthy. Similar to how younger males pay much more for auto insurance because they get into more, and likely costlier, accidents.
 

WolfSnap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2012
886
591
SoCal
As a licensed Realtor and a licensed Lender who deals with FICO and credit issues on a daily basis, let me just say that most people here have NO IDEA what they're talking about.

A married couple who are on each other's credit cards as authorized users, and have been married a long time with basically identical credit scores/credit reports, show their income as a combined family. If my wife and I apply for a card, it's likely that we'd get VERY similar credit limits. There's definitely going to be a small difference as the credit pull itself will change things, and it's possible that one spouse has something slightly different than the other -- BUT, there should NEVER be as much of a difference as the original poster claimed of 10x the credit limit.

My wife and are have credit scores within a few points of each other.. I've been as high as 850 before (for years, until I decided to buy a new car and get a few new cards.. It'll be back there soon enough). My wife has hovered around the same score as mine. Mostly her's is different only due to differences in credit pulls and if she's an authorized user or primary user on loans/cards.

When we've applied for new credit from, say, chase, on a new credit card with a huge sign-up bonus of reward points, the credit limits we've been offered have been within a few dollars of each other.

This isn't a rare situation, and it's very likely that GS had some crazy algorithm that was causing issues. Or, they're just sexist. One of the two. LOL
 

Coconut Bean

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
193
127
FICO credit scores are predictive of the borrower’s risk of default, unlike house color.
You don’t get it. Fico score is not the only thing that influences what credit limit and APR you'll get. There are way more advanced models for that. while you know what goes into Fico score you don't know what goes into Goldman's credit models.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
5,143
5,844
Sunnyvale, CA
As a licensed Realtor and a licensed Lender who deals with FICO and credit issues on a daily basis, let me just say that most people here have NO IDEA what they're talking about.

A married couple who are on each other's credit cards as authorized users, and have been married a long time with basically identical credit scores/credit reports, show their income as a combined family. If my wife and I apply for a card, it's likely that we'd get VERY similar credit limits. There's definitely going to be a small difference as the credit pull itself will change things, and it's possible that one spouse has something slightly different than the other -- BUT, there should NEVER be as much of a difference as the original poster claimed of 10x the credit limit.

My wife and are have credit scores within a few points of each other.. I've been as high as 850 before (for years, until I decided to buy a new car and get a few new cards.. It'll be back there soon enough). My wife has hovered around the same score as mine. Mostly her's is different only due to differences in credit pulls and if she's an authorized user or primary user on loans/cards.

When we've applied for new credit from, say, chase, on a new credit card with a huge sign-up bonus of reward points, the credit limits we've been offered have been within a few dollars of each other.

This isn't a rare situation, and it's very likely that GS had some crazy algorithm that was causing issues. Or, they're just sexist. One of the two. LOL
There have been anecdotal reports of wives getting higher limits than their husbands as well. I don’t think we have learned anything of value (yet) about any potential gender bias in Goldman’s underwriting.

In the case of the outrage troll on Twitter, GS seems to be implying that his wife had authorized user accounts. Automated decisioning software could be ignoring those accounts in credit limit determination, as AU accounts are known to be used to artificially inflate scores (piggybacking).

She may have no individual responsibility accounts, or ones with low limits. Either can easily explain a $1,000 vs. $20,000 initial credit limit even if her FICO score is higher. In any case, jumping to the conclusion that there is gender bias and blasting it on Twitter is ridiculous.

He might just as well have posted, “I’m an idiot who jumps to conclusions for which I have insufficient data and zero proof, regarding subjects of which I know very little and don’t even have the intellectual curiosity to learn about before I angrily, impulsively react on a public forum with no concern for the consequences. Then when I realize I’m wrong, I backpedal like a drunk clown on a unicycle and refuse to own my mistake, unable to admit I was wrong and apologize for my poor behavior”.

Yeah, that’s the guy I want to hire.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,133
16,401
Why do companies even take this sort of nonsense seriously? Because 'media' sites pick this sort of **** up and spread it around like so much bovine manure? Who cares? It's best to give this sort of garbage it's due in actual value: nothing. Sooner or later the distributors of this crap will give up when they notice it doesn't have any effect.
That’s basically the underlying issue not only in this case but a lot of things out there — perception is reality for many, and many of those don’t want to or care to acknowledge that, let alone actually do anything about it.
- - Post merged: - -

What is “political” about this?
A variety of responses to the previous article about this. (And not necessarily exactly political, but PRSI.)
 

Khedron

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,132
4,141
If this statement is in line with other Apple statements then it could simply mean "WE don't know your gender but the third parties we send your information to do"