Whether your Apple Card application was rejected due to a low credit score or income, negative credit report marks or heavy debt, you can take steps to improve your chances when you apply again. Plus, applying for the Apple Card more than once won’t hurt your credit score.
If you have had an Apple Card application denied in the recent past, you’re probably feeling a bit left out. While it’s far from the best cash back card out there, it boasts a sleek design, few fees and bonus Daily Cash rewards on Apple and Apple Pay purchases. Better yet, this card seamlessly integrates with Apple products, so it’s an easy choice if you are an iPhone user.
While it’s not designed for people with poor credit, the Apple Card seems to offer better approval odds than many comparable rewards cards. Indeed, some cardholders with credit scores in the 600s have reported getting approved.
So what can keep you from being approved? Here are some of the key factors that lead to Apple Card denial and how to improve your chances if you want to try again, including making the most of the Path to Apple Card credit coaching program.
Basics of getting the Apple Card
There are a few basic requirements for getting the Apple Card. For starters, it’s available only to current users of eligible Apple devices with an Apple ID. You must also be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or lawful resident with a U.S. residential or military address.
Additionally, Goldman Sachs, the card’s issuer, will need to check your credit report before making an approval decision – so if you’ve frozen it for some reason, you’ll have to unfreeze it before you apply. You may also need to verify your identity with a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID (more on this later).
You’ll likely get an approval decision instantly in the Wallet app – and, in the case of a denial, an explanation regarding why you were not approved – but you may see a message saying your application is in review. This means Goldman Sachs needs more time to consider your application or verify your identity.
If your application is in review, Apple says you should expect to hear back in one to three business days, though some users have reported waiting longer. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to check on the status of your Apple Card application prior to a decision, but you may receive updates about your application or requests for additional information via email or phone call.
Why was my application declined?
As with any credit card application, your credit score and credit report will be key factors in deciding whether you’re approved for the Apple Card.
That said, it’s still possible to get denied for a credit card even if you have excellent credit, and Goldman Sachs considers a number of other criteria when evaluating Apple Card applications, including whether your identity, income, banking history and debt obligations can be verified.
Here’s a breakdown of the reasons you may be denied the Apple Card, according to Apple:
Your credit score is too low
Apple lists a FICO credit score of less than 660 as an example of a score that may be too low to qualify for the Apple Card. A score higher than 660 is no guarantee of approval, however, and plenty of users with scores in the 700s have reported being denied.
Further, Apple lists TransUnion as one of the bureaus Goldman Sachs uses to evaluate Apple Card applications. Additionally, Goldman Sachs uses the FICO 9 scoring model to gauge the creditworthiness of those who apply.
Here’s what Apple has to say about your credit score on its website:
“There are multiple FICO Score versions available for lenders to use. Apple Card uses FICO Score 9. FICO Score 9 ranges from 300 to 850, with scores above 660 considered favorable for credit approval.”
The approval decision you receive should include your credit score at the time it was checked by Goldman Sachs, as well as which of the national credit bureaus the issuer used to obtain it.
Keep in mind that you may see a sizable difference between your FICO credit score and your VantageScore score.
You might have a thin or damaged credit file or other negative financial history
Your credit report may contain information that makes you seem like too much of a lending risk. This can include current or recent past-due debt obligations such as mortgages, auto loans, personal loans and utility bills, as well as bankruptcies, recent repossessions of property and more.
You can also be denied for having limited or no credit, or if you have negative public records not included in your credit report, such as tax liens or a civil judgment against you.
Additionally, Apple notes that having a checking account recently closed by a bank – often the result of repeatedly spending more than your available account balance or failing to bring a negative account balance to positive – could lead to denial.
Banking account information is available via your ChexSystems report. While card issuers typically don’t use ChexSystems when making approval decisions, Apple’s listed criteria and multiple user reports indicate that Goldman Sachs may be checking this report, either directly or via a credit bureau.
Your income is low or you have heavy debt
Though they don’t appear on your credit report or factor into your credit score, your income and debt-to-income ratio – your total monthly debt obligations compared to your total monthly gross income – could also affect your Apple Card application.
Even if you don’t have a ton of outstanding debt, low income or low income relative to your existing debt obligations – like monthly house or car payments – could indicate an inability to make card payments.
Apple specifically mentions having unsecured debt obligations that exceed 50% of your income as a possible reason for denial.
Your identity couldn’t be verified
You may be asked to verify your identity when you apply for the Apple Card. This requires you to use your device to scan your driver’s license or state ID. If the information you entered in your Apple Card application – including your date of birth, last name and address – does not match the information on your ID, your application may be denied.
Will having an Apple Card application denied hurt my credit score?
Applying for a new credit card almost always results in a hard pull of your credit report, which temporarily knocks a few points off of your credit score. The impact of a hard pull is the same whether your application is approved or declined.
However, the Apple Card is unique in that it requires only a soft pull when you apply. This means your credit score won’t be impacted if you are denied the Apple Card or if you are approved and decide not to move forward with your application. This is a rare feature and could make the card particularly appealing if you’re in the market for a “soft pull” credit card.
That said, if you accept an Apple Card offer and open a new line of credit, a hard pull will be recorded in your credit report.
What to do if your application is not approved
Receiving a denial for a credit card doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Now that you have a clearer understanding of the reason behind your Apple Card application is denied, you can try to resolve the issue or take steps to give yourself a better chance should you apply again in the future.
Double-check your identification information
If your Apple Card application was declined because your identification information couldn’t be verified, don’t fret – Apple says these issues can often be resolved either by rescanning your ID, correcting personal details or contacting Apple support. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure nothing is blocking your device’s camera when you scan your ID. If even a small part of your ID is obscured, your scan may fail.
- Double-check the information on your ID and make sure it exactly matches the information you entered in your Apple Card application. This will include your date of birth, name and address. If the details you entered don’t match, update them and reapply.
- Make sure your ID hasn’t expired. If it has expired, get an updated version and reapply.
- Contact Apple Support if your application is denied even after taking these steps.
Check your credit report for inaccuracies
If your application was denied based on something in your credit report that sounds unfamiliar, be sure to request a copy of your report and verify that it’s accurate. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report every week from the three credit reporting agencies. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to request your copy.
If you find errors in your report, you can dispute them by contacting the credit reporting company and explaining what information is inaccurate. Errors and disputed fraudulent activity generally take one to three months to be resolved, after which you can consider reapplying.
Be patient, work on your credit and try again
If the negative records on your credit report are accurate, you will just have to wait for them to fall off. How long this takes will depend on the circumstance – for example, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your report for seven years and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay with you for 10 years.
That said, the longer it’s been since the slip-up, the less of an impact it will have on your credit score and credit approval odds. Additionally, if you have a no credit score or a limited credit history, you may have to work on establishing your credit profile for a few months before you apply again.
In either case, you can use secured credit cards or other credit-building tools like credit-builder loans to get you started down the path to good credit. Just be sure to pay on time and avoid maxing out your cards to give your credit score the biggest boost.
And as we’ve covered, unlike the Apple Card, most credit cards require a hard pull of your credit when you apply, so look for preapproval opportunities via issuer websites or a tool like CardMatch to be sure you’re only applying for cards that offer decent approval odds.
Opt in to share additional personal data
Even if your Apple Card application is declined based on your credit or other personal financial information, you may be able to have your application reevaluated if you agree to share additional personal data with Goldman Sachs.
This could include information about when you created your Apple ID, the Apple products registered to that ID, your Apple product purchase history, the cards linked to your account and how often and how much you spend with Apple.
“Applicants and cardholders may be able to choose to share the identified metrics with Goldman Sachs for re-evaluation of their offer of credit or to increase their credit line,” says the policy.
While it’s still unclear how many applicants will be offered this option, it may prove especially useful if you’ve been a loyal Apple customer but have a thin credit file or middling credit score.
Take advantage of Path to Apple Card
Apple also offers Path to Apple Card, a credit coaching and creditworthiness improvement program designed to help rejected Apple Card applicants boost their credit profile and try again.
Drawing upon the information that Goldman Sachs used to determine your creditworthiness, this opt-in program offers a straightforward explanation of why you were rejected, as well as specific steps you can take to resolve those issues and make approval more likely should you reapply.
As of June 30, 2020, if you’ve been denied the Apple Card, you may see a notification on your device offering you the opportunity to join the Path to Apple program. Once you opt in, you’ll receive monthly updates on your progress via email, covering your success in tackling credit roadblocks like settling past due balances, making on-time payments on your debt and lowering your credit utilization.
While Path to Apple Card won’t give you any new information about why your application was unsuccessful, it could serve as a valuable roadmap and ensure you stay on track with your credit building efforts.
The Path to Apple Card program typically lasts four months, after which you’ll get an invitation to reapply that’s good for 14 days. Of course, participation in the program does not guarantee approval.
Ways to improve your credit
After you face having your Apple Card application denied, joining the Path to Apple Card program can make sense. However, there are plenty of financial moves that can help you improve your credit on your own.
While the steps required to boost your credit score are the same regardless of what your goals are, Apple offers the following tips to improve it enough to qualify for the Apple Card.
- Pay all your bills on time. Since your payment history is the most important factor that makes up your FICO score, on-time payments on all your bills can give you a boost. Likewise, late payments on credit cards and other bills can damage your credit score more than other credit mishaps.
- Reduce your unsecured debts. The second most important factor that makes up your FICO score is how much debt you owe in relation to your credit limits. This is the reason Apple recommends lowering your personal loan and credit card debt. Doing so can decrease your credit utilization rate, which can raise your credit score in a short amount of time.
- Resolve past-due balances. If you have any late bills lingering from your past, pay them off or get them resolved in another way. Apple points out that accounts past due provide a proportionate effect on your approval odds based on how late they are. The Apple Card website has this to say: “If you have an account that’s 30 days past due, prevent it from going 60 days past due. If you have an account that’s 60 days past due, prevent it from going 90 days past due.”
The Apple Card is here to stay, although it’s far from your only option for building credit, earning rewards or financing purchases.
But if you have your heart set on the Apple Card, you should know that a single denial won’t prevent you from getting approved later on. Once you address the issues that led to your Apple Card denial, you can try again without hurting your credit score.