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Are you an iPhone user who wants to get the Apple Card? Find out what credit rating the issuer requires and what other criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify for the credit card.
What credit rating 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, those with at least a “good” score have a chance of getting the card. Apple Card issuer Goldman Sachs uses the FICO Score 9 scoring model, which ranges from 300 to 850.
That said, your credit score isn’t the only factor you’ll be judged on. Goldman Sachs uses a number of criteria to assess your application, including your credit report and TransUnion credit bureau data and your reported income.
“Your comprehensive credit report shows your credit usage history, including the number and types of loans you have, how long accounts have been open, and most importantly, your payment history,” says educator Amy Maliga. finance at Take Charge America, a nonprofit financial advisory firm.
Goldman Sachs says you may not be approved if:
- You are currently or have recently been past due on a debt.
- You had a closed checking account due to frequent overdrafts.
- You have at least two recent non-medical debt collections.
- You have negative items on the public record, such as tax liens, bankruptcies, foreclosures, or judgments against you.
- Your income is not enough to cover your debts, you are using too much of your available credit, or you have opened or applied for too much credit in recent months.
How to Get Pre-Approved for Apple Card
Apple Card’s online pre-approval tool can give you an accurate picture of your eligibility in just minutes. You won’t have to go through a rigorous credit check, so there’s no impact on your credit score.
However, be aware that a pre-approval is not a guarantee of actual approval. It’s based on a simple snapshot of your credit on a specific day and time and only on the preliminary information you provided. “If there were big changes in your credit report between pre-approval and when you officially apply for the card, that can affect your chances,” Maliga says.
Also, if you continue with the official request, your credit will be checked and your score may experience a slight 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 boost it before — or after — you apply.
See where you are
“Regularly reviewing your report and score will help you spot and correct any errors in your credit report and help you track your progress toward your financial goals,” Maliga says.
Credit expert John Ulzheimer, formerly of FICO and Equifax, recommends checking your credit at least 30 to 60 days before submitting an application. “It gives you time to react to any surprises you might find on your credit reports.”
To get your credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com, where you can access your free reports from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
As for your credit score, you can get it for free in several ways:
- Sign up for a free credit monitoring tool. The MyCredit guide from American Express and CreditWise from Capital One are free and open to everyone, even if you don’t have a card from the issuers.
- See if your current accounts offer a free score. Some credit card issuers and banks allow you to access your credit score from your account profile page.
- Sign up with Experian. You can get a monthly credit report and FICO score if you register with the credit bureau website.
Make necessary improvements
If you see that your credit score isn’t where it should be, the good news is that you can take steps to improve it.
Some applicants who are denied an Apple Card will be invited to join Path to Apple Card. If you’re close to meeting the card approval requirements, you’ll receive personalized steps to get your credit in order. Once you meet the requirements, Apple will invite you to reapply.
The steps in The Path to Apple Card can help any consumer trying to give their credit score a boost. Here are some examples:
- Continue to make your payments on time. On-time payments are the most important factor in calculating the FICO score, accounting for 35% of your score.
- Pay off your balances. 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. Repay $500, and now your credit utilization is 30%. Lower utilization rates are treated more favorably in credit score calculations, so paying off debts can improve your score. Experts generally recommend that your credit utilization rate be below 30%.
- Resolve all negative items. Old collections or overdue accounts can lower your credit score. Contacting these creditors and settling your accounts can remove these dings and possibly help boost your score.