New Apple Card Program Offers More Support for Credit Builders

Users can learn about, improve credit before applying for Apple Card again

young asian woman looking at her mobile phone

 Carlina Teteris

A new Apple Card program is designed to help consumers whose applications for the card (issued by Goldman Sachs) have been rejected to improve their credit and, with time, their approval odds for the credit card. 

The program, “Path to Apple Card,” was unveiled on June 29 as a four-month, opt-in service designed to offer participants monthly guidance based on the factors that contributed to the rejection decision. 

Key Takeaways

  • New Apple Card program offers rejected applicants a second chance to qualify for the card 
  • Card applicants who are rejected will receive emails or notifications about the new program and how to participate if they qualify
  • Participants will get personalized monthly updates and tips for improving their credit 
  • Recommendations are based on information collected by Goldman Sachs during the application process
  • After the four-month program is complete, participants can apply for the Apple Card again

How Does “The Path to Apple Card” Program Work?

If someone applies for the Apple Card and is denied, this new program can help them address the credit issues that contributed to Goldman Sachs’ decision. Applicants that Goldman Sachs believes are good candidates for the program will be invited to participate in the four-month-long process. 

Each month, participants will get guidance in the form of step-by-step tasks to improve their credit. Recommendations will be tailored to each person, based on what Goldman Sachs found when reviewing the Apple Card application. Tasks may include consistently making on-time payments, lowing credit card or personal debt, and resolving past-due accounts. 

Once the program is complete, the participant will get an invitation to reapply for the Apple Card within the following 14 days. 

It’s very rare in this industry for a credit card applicant to get this much insight into the credit decision process—and to have a formalized approach for improving their chances a second time. 

Webpages Offer Unique Insight Into the Approval Process

The Apple Financial Resources page breaks down how the Apple Card approval process works, based on what Goldman Sachs looks at when reviewing credit profiles, approving applications, and setting credit limits. This offers a peek at factors Apple considers beyond your credit score and income, such as your payment history for utilities like your phone, internet, gas, and electricity (when available). A support page for the Path to Apple Card program adds even more information.

Going through the program doesn’t guarantee approval the second time around. Keep in mind that putting in a second application will likely result in another hard inquiry on your credit report, which can hurt your credit score. 

The Financial Resources page outlines tips for improving your credit to boost your chances of approval. While in many areas this resource is tailored specifically to the Apple Card, it’s also good information for any consumer who’s new to credit and wants to learn more about what goes into a credit score and credit card application. 

Much of the advice offered is pretty standard—pay more than the minimum due each month and keep tabs on your credit report, for example—but for consumers who are new to credit or trying to get a better handle on their credit health, it’s important information to have on hand, especially in a digestible format. 

Apple Card Continues to Be Consumer-Focused 

These new Apple Card developments build upon a strong foundation of consumer-friendly services Goldman Sachs has offered since it launched the card in 2019. In June, Apple Card came out with a new interest-free financing option for Apple product purchases, and bumped up its top cash-back offer to 3% (from 2%) when the card is used with participating merchants, such as Walgreens and Uber. 

The card has always had a user-friendly mobile app that helps you understand credit card interest by showing how much of it will cost, depending on how much of your bill you pay. This latest move to add even more transparency and help consumers build credit is particularly interesting because, unlike secured cards and student cards, which also appeal to credit newbies, the Apple Card doesn’t require you to put up a deposit, pay an annual fee, or be a student. Yet the Apple Card may be in reach for applicants with fair credit (those with a credit score of at least 580, based on FICO standards).

Goldman Sachs is also still allowing Apple Card customers to defer payments straight through their Apple Wallet during the global pandemic. Assistance was first offered to struggling cardholders in March, and has been extended every month since. 

In addition to never charging late fees, the card’s combination of a simple payment deferment option and the new education resources is a solid effort to help consumers facing credit struggles during the persistent pandemic.