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Introduced in March, and offered every month since, the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program has allowed Apple Card holders to skip their monthly payment without incurring interest charges amid these challenging times.

apple-card-feature2.jpg

In an email to a MacRumors reader today, Apple Card financial partner Goldman Sachs indicated that it is currently planning to offer customers the ability to enroll in this program up to six times in 2020, which it said is "consistent with current regulatory guidelines" in the United States. For customers that have been enrolled since March, this means that August would be their sixth and final month of eligibility this year.

Customers can change their enrollment status for August at any time prior to August 31, should they wish to save their sixth enrollment for a later month. In this case, their next payment would be due at the end of the month, including interest if applicable. Goldman Sachs can be reached through the Wallet app or by phone at 1-877-255-5923.

"We know this is a difficult time for many and our thoughts are with you," said Goldman Sachs, adding that it is developing additional payment plans for customers who need them and that it hopes to share more details soon.

To enroll in the program, open the Wallet app on an iPhone or iPad, tap on the ‌Apple Card‌, tap on the black circle with three dots, tap on the message bubble, and send a message along the lines of "I want to enroll in the Customer Assistance Program." Confirmation of your enrollment will be sent to the email address associated with your Apple ID.

Customers need to re-enroll in the program each month.

Article Link: Apple Card's Deferred Payment Program Limited to Six Months of Enrollment in 2020
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
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When do you repay your deferred credit card debt, when you obviously live paycheck to paycheck?
When you like to live dangerously, like taking advantage of payment deferral, using the money to buy calls on AAPL and then 6 months later you can pay off the balance and get a Tesla. Same thing as AAPL floating billions in bonds when they don't need the money. :)
 

jonblatho

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Jan 20, 2014
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so it is good for another 6 months????
Not necessarily. If you've already enrolled for each month from March through August, you won't be able to enroll again should they (presumably) offer it again in September, October, November, and/or December, as you've already enrolled for six months in 2020. If you enrolled for three months in 2020, you can enroll for three more months through the end of the year. The counter should reset, assuming they continue to offer this program, in January.

When do you repay your deferred credit card debt, when you obviously live paycheck to paycheck?
This is more intended as an emergency measure for people whose finances have been really, truly upended by the pandemic, not necessarily for people who were living paycheck-to-paycheck previously, so they don't have to choose between necessities like rent and food, or paying their credit card bills.

——————

Slightly off topic, but I've seen some TV financial advisors telling folks to take these credit card deferments even if they don't need it and save back that money instead. Given that these programs may show up as remarks on your credit report — they don't directly hurt your score but it may concern a future creditor — and the impact of revolving credit utilization on credit scores, I'd recommend against taking the deferments and instead paying your bill if it's feasible at all for your situation. The debt doesn't go away, you're just delaying its repayment, and it can get out of hand pretty quickly.
 

Scotty2Hotty

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2014
87
115
I’ve taken advantage of this program. I never viewed it as a skip payment option, but as a interest free loan. Sorry to see it’s only available for 6 months per user. I thought it might last until the spring.
 

jonblatho

macrumors 68020
Jan 20, 2014
2,265
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One thing to remember is all programs like this lower your credit score post deferral period. Sometime during.
They show up as remarks, which at least in the case of the Apple Card’s deferral program shouldn’t impact one’s score directly (as I don't believe they're treated as adverse remarks), but they may lead to higher revolving credit utilization if nothing at all is being paid and the card is still being used, which does greatly impact one's score.

A creditor who looks closely at credit reports may also see a remark about deferred payments on a potential debtor's credit report and have some concern that this person may not be able to repay what they owe, even if the remarks aren't explicitly considered adverse and the score hasn't been impacted. That's why I recommend against doing this unless it's truly necessary.
 
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bpeeps

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May 6, 2011
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They show up as remarks, which at least in the case of the Apple Card’s deferral program shouldn’t impact one’s score directly (as I don't believe they're treated as adverse remarks), but they may lead to higher revolving credit utilization if nothing at all is being paid and the card is still being used, which does greatly impact one's score.

A creditor who looks closely at credit reports may also see a remark about deferred payments on a potential debtor's credit report and have some concern that this person may not be able to repay what they owe, even if the remarks aren't explicitly considered adverse and the score hasn't been impacted. That's why I recommend against doing this unless it's truly necessary.

It's crazy how uneducated most people are on credit and credit cards. People upthread eyeing this as a 6 month interest free loan are wild. If you can afford to pay it off, you should be paying it off. Otherwise you should work to setup savings goals over time to purchase the things you want.
 

compwiz1202

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
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When you like to live dangerously, like taking advantage of payment deferral, using the money to buy calls on AAPL and then 6 months later you can pay off the balance and get a Tesla. Same thing as AAPL floating billions in bonds when they don't need the money. :)
Yea the problem is some let you just skip and move payments to the end, but other are just letting you avoid disconnects, but then will disconnect you ASAP once the period ends. Where will people who were in trouble going to suddenly get 3, 4+ months of back payments??? At least make a reasonable arrangement to catch up./
 

SDJim

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2017
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San Diego, CA
6mos interest-free deferral is really awesome for people who have suddenly had to reassess their employment as of March and already had a balance on the card (because they planned on paying it off because they were employed). I'm pleased they did this at all.
 

techfreak23

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2013
521
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It would be awesome if those of us that were fortunate enough to not have to rely on programs like this got a nice boost in our credit scores. Obviously, we are able to survive an economic crisis... that’s a big wish and probably unlikely to happen.

That’s also not to say that the people that did unfortunately have to use them should be punished with a lower score. Clearly, the pandemic put a lot of people in unfortunate and unavoidable financial situations. I did hear some stories of people’s accounts being closed not long after applying for the programs, but I don’t know how true that is or how widespread.

Edit: forgot to mention like others have, even if you are able to defer payments, using the card will still get reported and your utilization will go up. Depending on that your score could fluctuate as much as 20 or 30 points. So in reality, it will likely negatively impact your credit at least in the short term.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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One thing to remember is all programs like this lower your credit score post deferral period. Sometime during.

That's true, but folks make way too big of a deal over credit score fluctuations. Credit score only matters when you're going to need to use your credit. It doesn't matter if your credit score drops from 800 to 100, as long as it's back to 800 when you go to apply for a loan or other service that requires a credit pull.

If you aren't looking to undertake an action that'll require your credit to be checked this really isn't a big deal. And unless you're looking to refinance debt, you shouldn't be taking on more credit debt right now if you're also having to defer payments.
 
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