Stay-at-Home Spouses Get Go-Ahead to Apply for Credit... - Legal News


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Legal » Stay-at-Home Spouses Get Go-Ahead to Apply for Credit Cards

Stay-at-Home Spouses Get Go-Ahead to Apply for Credit Cards

Stay-at-Home Spouses Get Go-Ahead to Apply for Credit Cards
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

A regulation that prevented people who don’t work outside the home from qualifying for lines of credit has been amended, making it easier for stay-at-home parents and others without incomes to be approved for credit cards.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed the amendment to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) in October 2012, but it wasn’t approved until this week. The CARD Act, which took effect in 2009, required credit card issuers to consider only the income and assets of the person applying for credit. That meant household income was no longer an acceptable means of evaluating an applicant’s ability to pay back debt. Spouses who stayed home to care for a child, elderly parent, or for any other reason found themselves unable to qualify for a credit card in their own name.

Income considered regardless of marital status

Under the CFPB’s amendment, applicants 21 years old and older can list income from a spouse or partner as a resource for credit issuers to take into account when considering their creditworthiness. If individuals have “a reasonable expectation of access” to income from someone else in their household, it will count toward their own resources whether or not they are married to that person.

More than 16 million stay-home spouses

Recent U.S. Census data shows that over 16 million married people do not have jobs outside the home—about one-third of married couples. Industry experts say that people who were otherwise creditworthy have been turned down for credit cards because of the CARD Act, and expect this amendment to correct that oversight.

When the CFPB proposed the amendment last fall, they got more than 300 comments from consumers, retailers, banks, credit card issuers and others with an interest in the outcome. They considered those while making their final decision, which was sent to the Federal Register on Monday and will take effect as soon as it is published. Credit issuers will have six months to update their application process to comply with the new rule.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:

Related News:

CARD Act Saves Americans Over $16 Billion in Credit Card Fees
CARD Act Saves Americans Over $16 Billion in Credit Card Fees

Posted: December 09, 2015

Legislation enacted by Congress in the spring of 2009 has saved consumers more than $16 billion in credit card fees over the past six years. Continue reading

CFPB Takes Campuses to Task for Secret Credit Card Contracts
CFPB Takes Campuses to Task for Secret Credit Card Contracts

Posted: December 30, 2015

When students apply for a school-sponsored credit card they may think they don’t have to read the fine print, but that might not always be the case. Continue reading

CFPB Reports on the Credit Card Market
CFPB Reports on the Credit Card Market

Posted: January 09, 2018

The credit card market has experienced an upswing in terms of credit line amounts and average debt, according to the third biannual report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), finding that the amount of credit card accounts… Continue reading

Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Introducing the New Citi Rewards+ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
For Excellent, Good Credit
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
For Good/Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees
Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
For Fair/Bad Credit
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!