Non-Working Spouses Finally Get Some Credit

If you’re a non-working spouse, thanks to the CARD act, getting your own credit card could prove challenging. That might be about to change.


When Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, it included language requiring anyone applying for credit to prove they had income sufficient to pay the bill.

While aimed at curbing the routine issuance of credit cards to those unable to pay their bills – think college students – it had an unintended consequence: It left stay-at-home spouses unable to get a credit card on their own.

But thanks to a petition begun by a former employee of Capital One, the regulation may soon be rewritten. According to this article from Bloomberg, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, will be proposing new rules that would make an exception for non-working spouses.

“We have determined that it is a significant problem,” Cordray said. He added that “tens if not hundreds of thousands” of Americans have been denied access to credit as a result of the rule.

But don’t hold your breath. Cordray said the new rules won’t be proposed until after the election.

Stacy Johnson

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