How an Apple Card Can Affect Your Mortgage Application
Apple Card and iPhone

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: How an Apple Card Can Affect Your Mortgage Application

Buying my first home was quite an experience. For the most part, it was a positive one — yet there were moments where I was completely dumbstruck and, to quote Will Ferell, felt like I was taking crazy pills. One such moment happened as we were looking to secure pre-approval for our mortgage. As I’ll share in a future installment of this series, gaining approval while being self-employed includes lots of frustrating nuances, but let’s focus on a piece of mortgage lending trivia I picked up in the process.

It was the middle of the afternoon when our mortgage broker called to give us an update. The gist of the call was that things were looking pretty good (after we’d smoothed out a couple of other bumps) and we were nearing an approval. But then, he said this: “You may need to pay off your Apple Card.”

This decree struck me as odd since I had plenty of other cards that I put far more spending on than my Apple Card — but the explanation soon arrived.

A word on DTI

Before I get to the reason why my Apple Card was causing mischief, let’s talk about debt-to-income ratio (DTI). As the name implies, this metric compares how much you make to how much you owe. Because lenders want you to be able to actually make payments on your loan, this is a key indicator of whether or not someone is qualified.

To calculate this number, lenders will total up your various monthly payments and divide it by your monthly income. Keep that in mind as we continue our journey.

Where the Apple Card factors into my DTI

One of the features of the Apple Card is that customers can finance select Apple products with zero percent interest. So, when I purchased a new MacBook Pro earlier this year, I said, “Why not?” and elected to pay it off over 12 months. Thus, it wasn’t the card balance itself that was causing issues but because of the monthly installment payments due.

As it turns out, one of the metrics that mortgage lenders use when looking at your debt-to-income ratio is the minimum payment due on your credit cards. Most of the time, these may be $35 or so. However, because the Apple Card includes those installment payments in the minimum due, it was apparently throwing off their DTI calculation. Funny enough, once this explanation was presented to me, I literally told my mortgage broker, “You are giving me so much content right now.”

By the way, this problem isn’t unique to the Apple Card. If you’ve ever financed a large purchase at a department store or elsewhere, there’s a chance you were actually issued a store credit card as part of this. In this case, you might encounter a similar issue if your installment payments are reported as a minimum payment due.

The good news is that, in the end, I didn’t have to pay off the card to get approved (I could have and offered to but it wasn’t necessary). Still, I came away with a new piece of knowledge that I honestly think is equal parts fascinating and frustrating. That said, while it was confusing at the moment, I do understand the reason why these figures might raise concern for lenders. On that note, this is why I’m thankful we worked with someone who could explain these things — but that’s a story for another day.

So, the moral of the story is that before applying for a mortgage, you may want to take a look at any financing plans you have on an Apple Card, store credit card, or elsewhere. Hopefully then you can either pay these off or explain them to your lender before they cause issues.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

"The Unbanking of America" Book Review

In her new book " The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives" author Lisa Servon looks at everything from the payday loan industry to FinTech while also discussing the changing economics of the middle class.
Charlie and SpeedBump logos

Charlie Introduces SpeedBump Fraud Protection Feature

A FinTech that helps prevent adults from falling victim to scams and fraud is adding a new feature to further that cause. About SpeedBump: Today, Charlie announced the launch of its SpeedBump feature. This tool combines alerts, pauses, and real-time education to help protect older adults who may be vulnerable to scams and fraud. SpeedBump may be activated when Charlie customers take certain actions, such as adding a payee, making...
AMEX card in the middle of a restaurant table full of food

American Express to Acquire Tock from Squarespace

American Express is expanding its dining platform with not one but two acquisitions. About the acquisitions: Today, Amex announced that it will be acquiring the restaurant reservation service Tock from Squarespace (who purchased the company in 2021). The purchase is expected to be for $400 million in cash but is subject to closing conditions, customary adjustments, and regulatory approval. Amex also notes that, as part of the deal with Squarespace,...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

A Guide to Building Credit and Increasing Your Credit Scores

When it comes to credit, there’s some good news. The average credit score in the United States has been steadily rising in recent years, coming in at 715 in 2023. That may be because, today, consumers not only have more ways to access their credit reports and scores than ever before but also because there are an increasing number of options that Americans have for building credit in the first...

2024 SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Ever since I started taking an interest in the FinTech sector, one company whose name I’ve seen pop up over and over again is SoFi. Lately it seems as though that theme has been sent into overdrive as the company has not only become a household name thanks to its stadium naming rights deal but also because of the company’s continued product expansions. The most interesting development in my mind...
Brim logo

Brim Financial Raises $85 Million as It Eyes Global Expansion

Toronto-based FinTech infrastructure startup Brim Financial has announced a new funding round. About the round: Brim has revealed an $85 million round. The Series C was led by EDC Investments while new investor Vistara Growth and returning investors White Owl Group, Epic Ventures, and Zions Bank also participated. To date, the company has now raised $110 million including a Series B in 2021. According to Brim, the latest funding will...
Chase Freedom Flex card

Chase Reveals Q2 2024 Freedom 5%(+) Bonus Categories

Chase has announced its bonus category picks for the second quarter of 2024 — including some interesting twists. About the categories: As April approaches, Chase has revealed what categories Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonuses on. From April 1st through June 30th, customers can earn 5% (or more) in three categories:, Hotels, and Restaurants. Similar to how Chase embraced a "New Year, New Me" theme last quarter,...
Rent Day

Bilt Announces Home Collection Deal for May 2024 Rent Day

For May's Rent Day, Bilt is offering a deal that will allow members to decrease their rent bill while also adding to their home decor. About the Home Collection offer: Bilt has crafted a unique Rent Day offer for May 2024. Through the 1st, when Bilt members redeem their points toward rent payments, they'll receive the same number of points to be used toward Bilt Home Collection items. To take...