CFPB Proposal Will Help Stay-At-Home Spouses Get Credit Cards
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a new rule to make it easier for stay-at-home spouses to obtain a credit card.
The CFPB proposal allows the stay-at-home spouse or partner to rely on shared income when applying for a credit card account, rather than individual income.
“When stay-at-home spouses or partners have the ability to make payments on a credit card, they should be able to obtain a card in their own name,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement. “Today the CFPB is proposing common-sense changes that would facilitate credit access for spouses or partners who do not work outside the home.”
A 2009 CARD Act provision currently mandates issuers look at a consumer’s individual income, rather than their household income, when deciding to approve that consumer for a credit card. The rule originally tried to prevent young adults from using their parents’ income to obtain a credit card and subsequently ringing up too much debt in their own name. The unintended consequence of this provision is that it hurt the stay-at-home spouse that generates little or no income.