Allegations of discrimination spawn investigation into Apple Card credit lines

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2019
A series of angry tweets by the creator of Ruby on Rails alleging Apple Card approval discrimination has sparked a probe into Goldman Sachs credit card approval practices.

Apple Card


David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, has alleged that Apple and Goldman Sachs is being gender-biased against women who apply for the Apple Card.

The @AppleCard is such a fucking sexist program. My wife and I filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time. Yet Apple's black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she does. No appeals work.

-- DHH (@dhh)


The Apple Card had recently had the most successful credit card launch ever, according to Goldman Sachs. Additionally, it was reported that the company would accept those with sub-prime credit scores.

It's not clear what has caused the wild difference in credit lines, though the statement has piqued the interest of Wall Street regulators.

"The department will be conducting an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex," said a spokesman for Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, according to Bloomberg "Any algorithm, that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates New York law."

Goldman Sachs spokesperson, Andrew Williams, has released a statement regarding the situation.

"Our credit decisions are based on a customer's creditworthiness and not on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law."

While not an exhaustive sample, there seems to be equivalency between the male and female members in the AppleInsider staff in regards to credit limits.



The Apple Card launched on August 20 in conjunction with Goldman Sachs. It has been designed primarily to be used with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac. The card features a cash-back reward system, called Daily Cash, that gives 3% back on all Apple purchases, 2% back on purchases made with Apple Pay, and 1% cash back on everything else.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 141
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    Not enough info. What are your salaries? 
    applesnorangesbshanklostkiwicat52randominternetpersonGeorgeBMacStrangeDayschristophbn2itivguy
  • Reply 2 of 141
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,386member
    Agreed. Has she ever bought her own car/house? What's her career path (if she has one) been? What kind of money has she made apart from your money?

    Pretty sure GS is following the industry-standard law on this, but certainly it's worth looking into if there are some more detailed examples of sexist discrimination. One user who hasn't provided needed specifics is not nearly enough to treat this seriously.
    magman1979bshankrandominternetpersonGeorgeBMacnewBelievern2itivguysarthos
  • Reply 3 of 141
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,893administrator
    jungmark said:
    Not enough info. What are your salaries? 
    Less than the inventor of Ruby on Rails.
    WgkruegerAmberNeelysdw2001applesnorangesMicDorseyDAalsethbshankGeorgeBMacchristophbchasm
  • Reply 4 of 141
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    He can only make an argument if they are completely equal financially - working? salary? Credit rating history? Late payment history? Current balances/debt? Oldest account?  ... all based on algorithms for each individual. I’m sure they would love to extend her more credit if she qualifies and they can limit risk. If this dude didn’t look into all these things, he should be sued for libel.
    flyingdpapplesnorangesagilealtitudecitpeksmagman1979mwhitelostkiwisteven n.cat52GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 141
    Each person has their own credit history. 
    applesnorangesmagman1979cat52GeorgeBMacchristophbchasmnewBelievern2itivguysarthos
  • Reply 6 of 141
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Hilarious. None of this:

    My wife and I filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time. 



    is going to have any bearing on credit score when compared with past credit history. I doubt that their credit histories are anywhere near similar. 

    I knew there was a good reason I went with Python/Django. 
    edited November 2019 bonobobmagman1979trashman69fastasleepbshanklostkiwicat52GeorgeBMacStrangeDayschasm
  • Reply 7 of 141
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    The issue I raised to myself as I was requesting the Apple Card:

    First, don't know the information credit agencies get. I'm pretty sure they don't get any tax information, or have any idea of our net worth. I'm not sure they have access to investment accounts. 

    In any case, except for a few special accounts, my wife and I have joint accounts. 

    So, when credit worthiness is determined, they are determining that decision based on our joint financial interests. I got the Apple Card. 

    Now, if my wife requests the Apple Card, they cannot determine her credit worthiness independent from the determination of our credit worthiness when I signed up, otherwise they would be, in some sense, doubling the estimate of our credit worthiness. 

    Because the Apple Card account is not issued to spouses jointly, it makes sense that the first to get the Apple Card, gets the max, while the second spouse might get denied or a minimal limit. 

    The solution for Apple-GS is to tie both cards together into one account by default. 
    bshankmdriftmeyerrezwitscy_starkmanforgot username
  • Reply 8 of 141
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Haha, what a bunch of crap.

    There are many factors that go into a credit score, and there is no minus on your score for being a female and there is no secret conspiracy against females, and various companies, in this case, Goldman Sachs has whatever criteria they have for approving or not approving applicants.

    What's his income, what's his wife's income? Just because somebody is married that doesn't mean that their credit scores or their credit limit or their history will be identical.

    I've never heard of this guy before or Ruby on Rails, but I read a few of the whiny tweets and BS claims he makes and he sounds like a real SJW and he probably has a pink pussy hat in his closet.

    Hilarious how much mansplaining is flowing in this thread.

    I’d be surprised to learn if the team at Apple working on this wasn’t over-represented with men, or at least women who haven’t had to worry about credit approval.

    So yeah, I completely stand by my original charge: @AppleCard is a sexist program.
    edited November 2019 netroxbshanksteven n.cat52newBelieverrazorpit
  • Reply 9 of 141
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,020member
    How is this guy a successful developer and yet he doesn’t understand how credit works?  

    FYI, he should try my situation:  Nearly spotless credit for 25 years.  Owned a townhome, moved out and rented it.  Two years later, tenants trashed it.  Renovated ($5000 and 100+ hours of hard work), listed for sale in a good market.  No buyers.  Can’t pay mortgage, lender reneged on a short sale by claiming I never sent the paperwork (which was sent three times).  Now in foreclosure.  Got flat out denied for an Apple Card despite other history and solid income.  Cry me a river.  
    cat52
  • Reply 10 of 141
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    Wgkrueger said:
    Each person has their own credit history. 
    Almost never true.
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 11 of 141
    He needs to check his wife's credit score, bet that will tell the whole story.
    cat52
  • Reply 12 of 141
    larryjw said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Each person has their own credit history. 
    Almost never true.
    Unless they have jointly applied for every loan, credit card, bank account, utility account, etc. since day one, their history will be different.
    mwhitelostkiwisteven n.cat52randominternetpersonchristophbStrangeDaysrazorpitsarthos
  • Reply 13 of 141
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    The guy got the issue fixed, if there was even an issue to be fixed, and he continues to whine and rant on twitter. 

    I wasn’t even pessimistic to expect this outcome, but here we are: @AppleCard just gave my wife the VIP bump to match my credit limit, but continued to be an utter fucking failure of a customer service experience. Let me explain...

    The only discrimination I see so far is that of regular users who are not "VIP", who are not able to go on twitter and whine and get Goldman Sachs to step in and give somebody a "VIP" bump.
    applesnorangescat52cy_starkmanrazorpitsarthos
  • Reply 14 of 141
    My wife and I had the same issue. She had a slightly higher credit score and makes more money than I do.  I received 10K in credit. She only got 7500. All other aspects of our financial information are the same. The only possible explanation is gender based discrimination.
    edited November 2019 mdriftmeyereriamjhforgot usernameelectrosoftmichelb76
  • Reply 15 of 141
    I signed up as soon as I got the beta invite and my limit was over $10k My wife, who has a slightly higher rating than I, signed up when the card went live for everyone. She got $1,000 as her limit with the highest APR. It irritated her, but she didn’t really plan on using it that often anyhow. 

    About a month later she was thinking about calling to get an increase so she could put an iPhone 11 on it when they launched. As she went in to get contact info she noticed her limit was now MUCH higher with a much lower APR. She got an email the next day saying that due to the rush of new signups the system was just defaulting everyone to $1,000 with max APR, and that after manual review her limit and APR was adjusted accordingly. 

    Rather than just assuming discrimination, maybe contact GS and ask for a review?  I mean. Stuff happens. 
    applesnorangescat52randominternetpersongregoriusmchristophbStrangeDayseriamjhnewBelieversarthosRayz2016
  • Reply 16 of 141
    apple ][ said:
    Hilarious how much mansplaining is flowing in this thread.

    I’d be surprised to learn if the team at Apple working on this wasn’t over-represented with men, or at least women who haven’t had to worry about credit approval.

    So yeah, I completely stand by my original charge: @AppleCard is a sexist program.


    Mansplaining (I wonder who invented *that* word; I'd be surprised… (CAUTION: You are in the no-fact zone); …a sexist program (I bet you say this a few times a day and are a really happy person).
    DAalsethcat52
  • Reply 17 of 141
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    clexman said:
    larryjw said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Each person has their own credit history. 
    Almost never true.
    Unless they have jointly applied for every loan, credit card, bank account, utility account, etc. since day one, their history will be different.
    Unless you're in your 20s 0r 30s, married couples will have identical credit history, and been married for less 10 years, perhaps there is a difference in credit history. They should be identical after this. 
  • Reply 18 of 141
    I'm not sure what goes into making these decisions.  I did compare my wife's limit, and rate with mine.  Both are the same 20K, and 12.74 %.  We both have good if not outstanding credit scores.  I suspect that maybe that isn't the case with some.

    Mike
  • Reply 19 of 141
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    larryjw said:
    Unless you're in your 20s 0r 30s, married couples will have identical credit history, and been married for less 10 years, perhaps there is a difference in credit history. They should be identical after this. 
    Why would a married couple have an identical history?

    It depends on many factors. Do they have the same amount of cards? What if the husband has 7 cards and the wife has 2?

    It's not good to have too many cards and it's not good to have too few.

    What if one of them uses 5% of their credit limit every month, while the other one uses 25%?

    The person using 25% will have a lower score.

    How many hard pulls has each of them had recently?

    All of those things play into the score and the decisions when somebody applies for something.
    edited November 2019 applesnorangesmike1cat52randominternetpersonright_said_fredStrangeDaysrazorpitsarthos
  • Reply 20 of 141
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,384member
    He should have noted in his appeals that is wife was married to a VIP and deserved a VIP Bump. Once G-S realized that, she would have got the Bump much sooner.

    I for one, did not know he was a VIP.
    cat52
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