Article by Barry Stamp - 11th November 2019

Is There Discrimination In Credit Assessment?

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

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

Launched 21 Years, 35 Million Credit Scores & 8 Million Credit Reports Ago

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

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