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Apple’s Path to Apple Card program offers declined applicants a second chance at approval

Apple Card
Courtesy of Apple
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Apple and Goldman Sachs, the duo behind the innovative, no-fee Apple Card, launched the Path to Apple Card program on Monday to help those who’ve previously had their application denied receive a second chance at approval.

The program offers personalized tasks to improve potential cardholders’ credit using information gathered from the denied application and provides a once-a-month progress check.

“I’m impressed with how proactive Apple Card has been in terms of financial literacy, financial wellness and cultivating long-term relationships with its customers,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate. “This is another example, along with things like not charging any fees, actively encouraging cardholders to pay as little interest as possible and offering the most generous COVID-19 hardship program in the industry.”

How the Path to Apple Card program works

According to Apple, your chances of receiving a notification to opt into the program depends on whether Goldman Sachs has identified you as being able to “meet the requirements for approval” after program completion.

Through this program, which can last up to four months, Apple and Goldman Sachs work with applicants to understand their credit denial and improve their future chances for Apple Card approval. A few personalized tasks that may be assigned include paying off past-due balances, reducing debt and establishing a history of on-time bill payments.

Once the program is completed, participants have a 14-day window to reapply for the Apple Card, should they choose.

Why the Path to Apple program is useful

In most cases, the primary method for determining which factors led to your credit denial is through an adverse action notice, which really only details the credit reporting agency that supplied your report.

Through the Path to Apple Card program, the veil of credit denial is lifted by offering educational information and action items to increase your chances of approval the second time around.

Completing a second application — are there any consequences?

When you apply for the Apple Card, in particular, a soft credit check — rather than a hard pull — is completed. Only after you accept the offer is a hard credit check performed.

With this strategy, you’re saved from an unnecessary ding to your credit score, which may be top of mind as you prepare for a second application.

The future of the Apple Card

Apple and Goldman Sachs are intentionally focusing on credit-builders and re-builders, says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate.

“[The] Apple Card is… available to a broader range of credit scores than most credit cards,” Rossman says. “…The rewards are okay, but where this card really shines is in areas like financial wellness and customer service.”

Rossman views the introduction of tools and programs like Path to Apple Card as a jumping-off point for future products and services from Apple and Goldman Sachs.

“I think Apple and its partner Goldman Sachs view Apple Card as the start of something more,” Rossman says. “That could mean more financial services (like Goldman’s Marcus savings and personal loan products), more loyalty to Apple (which could extend to other services and hardware) and possibly even a future where more transactions take place within the Apple ecosystem (buying things with Apple Card, using the rewards for peer-to-peer payments, etc.).”

The bottom line

If you’ve previously applied and been denied for the Apple Card, you can learn more about the Path to Apple Card program, here.

First-time Apple Card applicants can read about the application process on Apple’s new financial health page. It’s important to note that if you’re interested in applying for the Apple Card for the first time, you must have an iPhone.

Written by
Claire Dickey
Editor, Product
Claire Dickey is a product editor for Bankrate, and To Her Credit. Before joining Bankrate, Claire worked as a copywriter for brands within the telecommunications industry as well as a hybrid marketing and content writer.