I want to get an iPhone 12 Pro Max unlocked version on the Apple No Interest 24 month payment plan.
Apple used to use Citizens One, which is the bank that financed my iPhone 10s Max. But Apple has now switched to financing unlocked iPhones only with the Apple Card. (And Citizens One doesn’t report favorable credit experiences).
The three major cellular carriers will also finance through different banks, but the phones are either locked or tied to being a user of their services. I am delighted with Google Fi (except their miserable support from India) and have no desire to pay double or triple to T-Mobile or AT&T.
Over the last year and a half, I have applied three times for an Apple Card and have been rejected every time. I did have a charge off with Ford Motor Credit at the end of 2017. So I figured that was the reason. Meanwhile, my credit score has gone up to 760 which should be enough to get approved.
I am an American citizen, with an American residence address, American bank accounts, and an American Driver’s License. But I live outside the United States in South America for both political and financial reasons.
I was telling my friend who is also a U.S. citizen and a dual national about my Apple Card woes. He lives and works in Barcelona and is married to an EU citizen. But like me all his legal and financial activities are linked to U.S. addresses. He made his first million in Silicon Valley and has a credit score over 800. There is no way he presents a credit risk. But he cannot get an Apple Card either.
There is nothing about our foreign activities in our TransUnion credit files. No addresses and no creditors outside the U.S. He suspects that Goldman Sachs (the bank behind the Apple Card) is somehow looking at his stream of transactions, specifically swiped transactions, and seeing nothing but foreign transactions, and no U.S. transactions, has labeled him as a foreign resident and blackballed his application. Or perhaps they are detecting the use of a VPN when submitting the application and rejecting on that basis.
With COVID19, I haven’t been back to the U.S. to test this theory. But even the TOR network has all their exit points mapped to a database that is sold to companies to ID all communications emanating from that anonymizing method too. There cannot be any other reasonable reason why he keeps getting rejected. If it isn’t his credit, why and how are they rejecting him?
I only want the card for the 5% cash back on the iPhone and the interest free loan. I have no debts, pay everything in cash via debit card. (Although I am thinking I should start using my credit card a little and paying it all off every month.)
Question: Is there anyone on this board who is an American Digital Nomad in similar circumstances who has been able to get an Apple Card while living outside the United States?
(If you got the card before you left, you don’t meet the criteria for my research. Lucky you!)