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Are you an iPhone user who is interested in getting the Apple Card? Find out what credit score the issuer requires and what other criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify for the credit card.
What Credit Score Do You Need for the Apple Card?
Applicants with scores above 660 are “considered favorable for credit approval,” according the Apple Card’s website. In other words, those with at least a “good” score have a chance at getting the card. Apple Card’s issuer, Goldman Sachs, uses the FICO Score 9 score 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 evaluate your application, including your credit report and data from the credit bureau TransUnion and your reported income.
“Your full credit report shows your history of using credit, including the number and types of loans you have, how long accounts have been open and, most importantly, your payment history,” says Amy Maliga, financial educator with Take Charge America, a nonprofit financial counseling agency.
Goldman Sachs says you might not get approved if:
- You are currently or have recently been past due on a debt.
- You had a checking account closed because of frequent overdrawing.
- You have two or more recent nonmedical debt collections.
- You have negative items in the public record, like tax liens, bankruptcies, repossessions or judgments against you.
- Your income is not enough to cover your debt obligations, 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 Preapproved for the Apple Card
The Apple Card’s online preapproval tool can give you a solid idea of whether you’ll qualify in just a couple of minutes. You won’t have to go through a hard credit check, so there’s no impact on your credit score.
However, be aware a preapproval is not a guarantee of actual approval. It’s based on just a snapshot of your credit on a specific day and time and on only preliminary information provided by you. “If there have been any big changes to your credit report between the preapproval and the time you officially apply for the card, it can affect your chances,” says Maliga.
Also, if you do move forward with the official application, then your credit will get checked, and your score may suffer a minor temporary drop.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
If your credit isn’t strong enough to qualify for the Apple Card, you can do a few things to raise it before – or after – you apply.
See Where You Stand
“Reviewing your report and score on a regular basis will help you spot and address any errors on your credit report and help you monitor your progress toward your financial goals,” says Maliga.
Credit expert John Ulzheimer, formerly of FICO and Equifax, recommends checking your credit at least 30 to 60 days before submitting any application. “That gives you time to react to any surprises you may find on your credit reports.”
To get your credit report, head 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 a couple of ways:
- Register 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 issuers.
- See if your current accounts offer a free score. Some credit card issuers and banks let you 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 sign up on the credit bureau’s website.
Make Necessary Improvements
If you see that your credit score is not where it should be, the good news is you can take action to improve it.
Certain applicants who are denied an Apple Card will be invited to join Path to Apple Card. If you are close to meeting the card’s approval requirements, you’ll be given customized steps to get your credit health in order. Once you meet the requirements, Apple will invite you to apply again.
The Path to Apple Card’s steps may help any consumers trying to give their credit score a boost. Here are some examples:
- Keep making your payments on time. On-time payments are the most important factor in the FICO score calculation, accounting for 35% of your score.
- Pay down your balances. The less debt you owe, the better. For example, if you have a $1,000 credit line and you owe $800, you are utilizing 80% of your credit. Pay off $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 ratio be below 30%.
- Resolve any negative items. Old collections or past-due accounts can be dragging your credit score down. Contacting those creditors and settling your accounts can remove those dings and eventually help lift your score.