Is there discrimination in credit assessment?

Posted by Barry Stamp in Credit Score on 11 November 2019 - Barry is Managing Director at checkmyfile

Apple could find itself in hot water in the US after a weekend of high-profile claims that applicants to its recently launched Credit Card were discriminated against on the basis of gender.

One such complaint came from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who suggested that his wife was offered a significantly smaller credit limit than himself for no obvious reason. An investigation is now under way to try and determine whether there is a case to answer.

Discrimination doesn’t usually raise its ugly head in credit assessment, thanks almost entirely to the wide use of credit scoring. It’s unlawful to incorporate any element into a credit scorecard that might prejudice the chances of getting credit because of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other bias - both in the UK and the US.

Sometimes this works to the disadvantage of some groups. For instance, before equal opportunities legislation, women were scored more highly than men, because statistically they pose a lesser risk of default. Because of this, it was easier for women to get credit. When gender was removed from scorecards in the 1980’s, fewer women were accepted for credit as a result, but in effect the scorecards in use before equal opportunities legislation came into force were discriminatory against men.

One of the advantages of credit scoring is that it gives a consistent and fair result based on an evaluation of ‘characteristics’ such as time with bank – which is a measure of stability – and age – which is a very powerful predictor of bad debt.

Checking your own data

You can check your credit score for free using our Free Credit Score service which calculates your credit score from questions that typically are seen in a credit application form. This type of credit score is known as an ‘application score’.

For a more accurate result, and to see all the information held about you by all four of the UK’s Credit Reference Agencies, you can check your Multi Agency Credit Report with checkmyfile – the only place in the UK that you can see all that information together in one place.

If you haven't already taken a trial, it's free for 30 days and then £14.99 per month. You can cancel at anytime online, or via freephone, email or secure message - whatever is easiest

You'll see more detail than you can anywhere else and have access to our team of professionally trained Credit Analysts, should you need any help with your Credit Report.

Updated 11/11/2019 by Andrew Brown

Age matters when it comes to your credit score

Credit Action, the National Money Education Charity, scares everyone witless every month with unnerving financial statistics. A few examples include the fact that a property is repossessed every hour and 43 minutes, that every four minutes someone is declared insolvent, and that the Citizens’ Advice Bureau deals with 2,595 new cases every day. In its October 2019 statistics, the charity advised that average household debt is a mere £59,441 including mortgages. According to the BBC, the stat without mortgages has risen sharply to £15,385.

Published on 5 Dec 2019 by Barry Stamp

Full Article

Why do I get different Credit Scores?

The first ever idea of a Credit Score was introduced in the 1950s in the United States. Almost by accident, as Bill Fair and Earl Isaac discovered that a study looking at a potential predictor of ill health could be better used to predict bankruptcy and default. They teamed up to form Fair Isaac, Inc, now FICO, to sell credit scores to lenders. FICO scores are now household names by consumers in the US, as they are used extensively, with little competition.

Published on 3 Sep 2019 by Andrew Brown

Full Article

Does Gambling Affect Your Credit Score?

If you’re among the 32% of Brits that gamble on a weekly basis and are thinking of applying for some form of credit in the near future, you might be wondering whether your activity could affect your Credit Rating and your chances of being accepted.

Published on 13 Jun 2019 by Richard Catlin

Full Article

Can Social Scoring Really Affect Credit Applications?

Increased consumer awareness of the importance of a good Credit Score in recent years means that most people applying for a mortgage, loan or other form of finance know that the odds of their application being successful largely depend on the information contained within their Credit Report (among other factors) and how the lender in question interprets it.

Published on 24 Jan 2019 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

What Is An UltraFICO Score And Could It Work In The UK?

Would-be borrowers in the US have been given a potential new route when it comes to proving their creditworthiness to potential lenders, thanks to the recently announced UltraFICO score, which looks beyond the information traditionally used to assess credit applications.

Published on 28 Dec 2018 by Katherine Cornell

Full Article

How To See Your Credit Score For Free

When thinking about your finances and your eligibility to take out a loan, credit card or any form of borrowing, it’s tempting to boil your creditworthiness down into one single ‘make-or-break’ Credit Score. It’s not quite that simple though.

Published on 2 Oct 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

9 Ways to Improve Your Credit Rating

Whether you’re planning on applying for credit in the very near future, or you just want to make sure that everything is as it should be, it pays to check your Credit Report. In many cases, there will even be easy steps you can take to improve your Credit Rating.

Published on 12 Sep 2018 by Beth Jennings

Full Article

10 Credit Myths Busted

Credit checks are an integral part of modern life: from buying a house or car to applying for a new job or passing a tenancy check, your Credit Report is remarkably versatile. But considering what an important role it can play, there are still a number of popular myths surrounding them.

Published on 11 Jul 2018 by Kirstie Day

Full Article

What's More Important: Your Credit Score or Report Data?

The relationship between your credit score and your credit history seems to be cyclical: a good credit history gives you a good credit score and a good credit score means you should have easy access to credit, right? Well, in a way. But you might be surprised at how much of a role a ‘score’ really plays when it comes to borrowing.

Published on 24 May 2018 by Paul Anderson-Riley

Full Article

China's Social Credit Scoring: How Does it Work?

Launched in 2012 and expected to be fully-implemented by 2020, China’s Social Credit System (SCS) could be described as at best an invasion of privacy and at worst a simple case of unabashed state-controlled oppression. Based loosely on the principles used in traditional credit scoring, this system goes several steps further to score you as a citizen and assesses how much you contribute to/hinder society.

Published on 10 May 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article


We are rated number 1 for customer service on