Goldman Sachs approval levels for Apple Card high as it approves ‘subprime’ borrowers

The Apple Card began rolling out recently, but only for a limited number of potential applicants. It turns out the mega-bank is approving quite a few people, even including “subprime” borrowers.

According to a new report from CNBC, Goldman Sachs is approving a lot of people for the Apple Card, even including what’s considered a “subprime” borrower. A subprime borrower is someone who doesn’t have the best credit score. In one instance, an applicant with a credit score of 620 was approved for the Apple Card.

It’s up to Apple’s partner bank, Goldman Sachs, to decide who gets the Apple Card. Apparently Apple wanted to make sure that the bank created a technology platform that would approve as many potential Apple Card owners as possible from the pool of 100 million-plus iPhone owners in the United States.

The bank, which is in charge of deciding who gets the Apple Card, is accepting some applications from users with less-than-stellar credit scores, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Goldman began to make the card available to some Apple customers this week ahead of a broader rollout later this month.

From the start, Apple wanted its bank partner to create a technology platform that would approve as many of its 100 million-plus U.S. iPhone users as possible, within the bounds of regulations and responsible lending, according to the people. That’s in line with the tech giant’s desire to provide a good user experience for its customers.

There is technically not a definition for a subprime borrower, but it’s generally accepted that a FICO score under 660 falls under the title. As mentioned above, the original report shares the story of one Apple Card applicant, Ed Oswald, who has a credit score around 620:

I was absolutely shocked I got it,” Oswald said. “I have a lot of collections from two or three years ago when I was in a really rough spot. When I heard it was with Goldman Sachs, I figured they were going for the high-income set.”

Oswald said Goldman is giving him a relatively modest credit limit of $750. He said his interest rate on the Apple Card, at 23.99%, is “a lot lower” than his other cards.

Meanwhile, the report also indicates that Apple’s Steve Jobs actually considered the company’s first credit card way back in 1999, which would have seen Apple partnering with Capital One at the time:

Apple’s desire to reach as many of its customers as possible with a credit product isn’t new. When Apple held discussions with Capital One about creating a joint card in the late 1990s, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs “had an aversion” to rejecting any of his customers for the card, according to a former executive of the bank. They tested a card, but didn’t roll it out broadly, this person said.

We heard about the “iTunes credit card” earlier this year, the credit card that Apple envisioned to launch to the public that would see users earning “iPoints” for purchases made in iTunes. That was in 2004.

Are you planning on applying for the Apple Card when you get the chance?