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Are you an iPhone user interested in getting the Apple Card? Find out what creditworthiness the issuer requires and what other criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for the credit card.
What credit do you need for the Apple Card?
Applicants with scores above 660 are “considered favorable for credit approval,” according to the Apple Card website. In other words, whoever has at least one “good” score has a shot at the card. The Apple Card issuer, Goldman Sachs, uses the FICO Score 9 score model, which ranges from 300 to 850.
However, your creditworthiness is not the only factor you will be judged on. Goldman Sachs will evaluate your application based on a variety of criteria, including your credit and credit reporting information from TransUnion, and your reported income.
“Your full credit report shows your credit history, including the number and types of credit you have, how long accounts have been open, and most importantly, your payment history,” says Amy Maliga, financial educator at Take Charge America, a nonprofit financial advisory firm.
Goldman Sachs says you may not be admitted if:
- You are currently or recently overdue on a debt.
- You had closed a checking account due to frequent overdrafts.
- You have two or more non-medical debt collection procedures.
- You have negative entries in the public records, such as tax liens, bankruptcies, attachments or judgments against you.
- You have insufficient income to cover your debt, you are using too much of your available credit, or you have opened or applied for too many loans in the last few months.
How to get pre-approval for the Apple Card
Apple Card’s online pre-approval tool can give you a solid idea of whether you qualify in just a few minutes. You don’t have to go through a tough credit check, so your credit score won’t be affected.
Note, however, that pre-approval is not a guarantee of actual approval. It is based only on a snapshot of your credit on a specific day and time and only on preliminary information that you have provided. “If there have been major changes to your credit report between pre-approval and the time you officially apply for the card, it can hurt your chances,” says Maliga.
If you proceed with the official application, your credit will be checked and your score may experience a small temporary drop.
How to improve your credit score
If your credit isn’t strong enough to qualify for the Apple Card, there are a few things you can do to top it up before — or after — you apply.
See where you stand
“Regularly reviewing your report and score will help you identify and fix errors in your credit report and monitor your progress toward your financial goals,” says Maliga.
Credit expert John Ulzheimer, formerly of FICO and Equifax, recommends evaluating your creditworthiness at least 30 to 60 days before submitting an application. “This gives you time to react to surprises in your credit reports.”
To get your credit report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com, where you can access your free reports from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
You can get your credit score for free in a number of ways:
- Sign up for a free credit monitoring tool. American Express’ MyCredit Guide and Capital One’s CreditWise are free and open to anyone, even if you don’t have a card with the issuer.
- Check if your checking accounts offer free points. Some credit card issuers and banks allow you to access your credit history from your account profile page.
- Sign up for Experian. You can get a monthly credit report and FICO score by logging on to the credit bureau’s website.
Make necessary improvements
If you find that your credit score is not where it should be, the good news is that there are steps you can take to improve it.
Certain applicants who are denied an Apple Card will be invited to join Path to Apple Card. When you’re about to meet the card’s approval requirements, you’ll be given customized steps to put your credit in order. Once you meet the requirements, Apple will invite you to reapply.
The Path to Apple Card steps can help any consumer trying to improve their credit score. Here are some examples:
- Keep making your payments on time. On-time payments are the most important factor in FICO score calculation and account for 35% of your score.
- Pay off your credits. The less debt you have, the better. For example, if you have a $1,000 line of credit and owe $800, you are using 80% of your credit. Withdraw $500 and now your credit utilization is 30%. Lower utilization rates are treated more favorably in the credit score calculation, so paying off debt can improve your score. Experts generally recommend that your credit utilization rate should be under 30%.
- Fix all negative elements. Old collections or overdue accounts can take a toll on your credit score. By contacting these creditors and settling your accounts, you can eliminate these dips and eventually help improve your score.