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February 11, 2020

The Truth Behind The Apple Cards Credit Check Investigation - Are Apple Really Sexist?

Started in August 2019, the Apple (News - Alert) Card is a credit card that is the result of a collaboration with both Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. It got created as a physical extension to the Apple Pay ecosphere and is currently only available in the United States.

Shortly after the credit card’s introduction to the market, it began running into significant trouble as users started noticing that women had significantly lower lines of credit than men. As a result, news of the seemingly sexist Apple Card debacle soon reached social media.

Women getting a “ridiculously low limit”

David Hansson, a software developer and creator of the Ruby on Rails web application framework, took to Twitter to express his outrage at the noticeable gender divide.

Both he and his wife, Jamie Hansson, each applied for and got accepted for an Apple Card. The problem is, Apple believes he has a much better line of credit than his wife, who got offered a “ridiculously low limit” of only $57 on her Apple Card. Adding insult to injury, she wasn’t allowed to pay for anything on her Apple Card until the next billing period.

Mr. Hansson went on to explain how his wife contacted Apple on two occasions, and both times the Apple customer service agents put the reason for the difference in credit limits to “the algorithm” that Apply Pay/Goldman Sachs uses when assessing credit affordability.

The second agent also suggested that Mrs. Hansson check her credit score, so both she and Mr. Hansson did so by signing up for TransUnion’s credit score service. After doing so, Mrs. Hansson’s credit score got shown to be higher than her husband’s.

Curiously, Apple decided to increase Mrs. Hansson’s credit limit to match that of her husband’s but failed to address the reason for the credit limit difference. In one tweet, Mr. Hansson described how his credit limit was twenty times that of his wife’s limit.

It would appear that the Hansson’s case is not an isolated one as other couples took to Twitter (News - Alert) to state how the same problem happened to them. IT professional Carmine Granucci also took to Twitter to explain how his wife has a better credit score and earns more than him, yet only had one-third of his credit limit when she applied for an Apple Card.

Even Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak (News - Alert), wrote a tweet in response to David Hansson saying the exact same thing happened with both him and his wife and that they don’t have any separate bank accounts or assets.

Probe launched on Apple Card’s alleged gender bias

A Wall Street regulator has officially opened a probe into the alleged gender bias uncovered by several Apple Card customers. The New York Department of Financial Services has said they are investigating the issue to “determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex.”

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs weighed in on the financial fiasco in a tweet by categorically denying they make decisions based on factors like gender. They also stated that customers “do not share a credit line under the account of a family member.”

Apple Card: not the best way to buy a new iPhone (News - Alert)?

Part of Apple Card’s benefits is allowing customers to purchase a new iPhone and pay for it over monthly installments with the Apple Card.

Given that there are serious concerns over the Apple Card gender bias, some consumers are now looking at alternative ways to fund their new iPhone, including no credit check mobile plans and even loans from other financial institutions.

While Apple Card claims to offer interest-free monthly payments for iPhone purchases, some consumers can opt for interest-free credit cards provided by other companies.

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