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Can spouse apply for card if she has no income?

Can spouse apply for card if she has no income?

Old Nov 3, 18, 5:32 am
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Can spouse apply for card if she has no income?

Hey guys my spouse is creating a small business and wondering if you have any advice on how she can apply for a credit card if she has no income yet (she is a SAHM). Is she able to apply for a card under her name even if she has no income? If so, which card do you recommend? Thanks!
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Old Nov 3, 18, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by doss1 View Post
Hey guys my spouse is creating a small business and wondering if you have any advice on how she can apply for a credit card if she has no income yet (she is a SAHM). Is she able to apply for a card under her name even if she has no income? If so, which card do you recommend? Thanks!
Better to add her to your card. It is good to put some charges than having a bunch of cards not using.
Unless you want the card welcome bonuses. Then it is a totally different story.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 9:47 am
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A card is more about credit history then income. Plus it is my understanding that if you share bank accounts, household income etc and especially if you file taxes jointly, your income is her income.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 10:27 am
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It will depend on the issuers underwriting, but most of the time, if you are MFJ you can state that the household income for the spouse.

Does she have her own prior credit history? If not, you might want to start with AU route and go from there.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 2:08 pm
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Most applications ask for household income,so as long as it is accurate and verifiable, she should be ok.

Once my spouse stopped working to stay home with the kids, she applied as retired when asked for occupation and used our household income. She has never been denied credit
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Old Nov 3, 18, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by freeflyin View Post
Most applications ask for household income,so as long as it is accurate and verifiable, she should be ok.

Once my spouse stopped working to stay home with the kids, she applied as retired when asked for occupation and used our household income. She has never been denied credit
I do not think this is true. I've not seen any application that asks for household income. Most of the applications would say that if you are 21 year or older, you can include income that you can access. Or such such.

The other question is if the bank wants to verify the income....
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Old Nov 3, 18, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
I do not think this is true. I've not seen any application that asks for household income. Most of the applications would say that if you are 21 year or older, you can include income that you can access. Or such such.

The other question is if the bank wants to verify the income....
Credit Card Act of 2009 required lenders to grant credit based upon the *applicant's ability to pay" back sums borrowed. There then ensued much loud noise from stay at home wives and mothers that they were being "denied" credit simply because they lacked official income.

Prior to this change, yes, many banks/lenders did consider "household income" meaning what was a husband's was also his wife's. But the law put them up against a brick wall. In theory yes, the SAHM or W does *NOT* have income, but an interest in a joint estate (marriage) by which what's his is hers and vice versa.

Government came out with some guidance to soften the rules, but still many aren't happy.
https://finance.zacks.com/options-sp...card-9589.html

As noted above the changes included:

"A 2013 amendment to the federal regulations surrounding the Card Act expanded the definition of one’s ability to pay so that people 21 and older can include any income to which they have a “reasonable expectation of access.” This can include income from a spouse, partner or other member of your household. It can also include nonwage income such as savings, trust fund distributions, unemployment compensation and others." https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cred...g-credit-card/

See also: https://millionmilesecrets.com/guide...t-cards-again/

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/can-m...d-application/

It is important to focus on fact while the 2013 amendment allowed banks/lenders to consider other sources of income for those 21 and over, it did not mandate they accept such information and approve all applications. Lenders still )as their right) reserve such decisions based upon overall creditworthiness of those applying.

The one huge fly in all this equality ointment is granting credit to someone without any other visible means of support other than the spouse. In the event of divorce or demise person with credit card/loan can then find themselves owing sums which they have no means to repay, and or doing so taxes current new income.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 8:02 pm
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The age 21 or older thing does not make a lot of sense. For college kids who are younger than 21, they can't include their parents' income? Then how can they get the income to pay the tuition (like $30,000 or so), room and board and daily expenses? And a lot of students get CCs anyhow.

This is really a gray area of the income from parents or from spouse. I personally do not think it is wrong to say that your 20-year old son makes $40,000 in order to get his CC. Or your spouse making $40,000 to get her first CC. The parents or husband (or other earners) pay the household debts anyhow. You can say the reported income is not true, but it is the reality.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 8:08 pm
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American Express applications include language that mimics the 2013 rules:

Include all income available to you. If under age 21, include only your own income. Income includes wages, retirement income, investments, rental properties, etc.

Alimony, child support, or separate maintenance need not be revealed if you do not wish to rely upon it.

Citi applications include similar language.

Bottom line, if your spouse is over 21 she can apply using the household income even if her personal income is zero.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
The age 21 or older thing does not make a lot of sense. For college kids who are younger than 21, they can't include their parents' income? Then how can they get the income to pay the tuition (like $30,000 or so), room and board and daily expenses? And a lot of students get CCs anyhow.

This is really a gray area of the income from parents or from spouse. I personally do not think it is wrong to say that your 20-year old son makes $40,000 in order to get his CC. Or your spouse making $40,000 to get her first CC. The parents or husband (or other earners) pay the household debts anyhow. You can say the reported income is not true, but it is the reality.
Credit Card Act addressed concerns regarding college students or whoever and debt.
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-c...d-law-1279.php

Basically under 21, the kid will need a co-signer. If said adult wants to become jointly responsible for their kid blowing a wad on credit cards, that is their business as they will be the ones also will get what's coming to them if sums aren't repaid.

Over 21 same rules for spouse and others apply; credit is granted based upon ability to repay. If the kid has no credit history, no job, he or she probably won't get a card unless they go with a secured or maybe any of the new products rolled out for college students (read low limits and often high APR).

Important take away point from all this is as we've been discussing elsewhere in forum; anyone can list any sort of employment or other income on a credit application. Bank or lender (as is their right) can also turn around an request official documentation. A college kid *could* put down no employment income, but an "allowance" or whatever from parents as "other household income", but CC/lender can say fine "show us the proof".

Spouses are a different matter, and to be frank we are specifically talking about wives/women.

Some of you may be too young to remember, but it wasn't that long ago that wives didn't exist financially or credit wise. Credit cards, bank accounts, etc.. all were under the husband's name. Yes, you had joint accounts but by and large it was assumed the man of the house was breadwinner and thus it was "his" money.

Divorced wives and or widows suddenly could find themselves with no credit/banking history of their own since all that had was tied to the husband. In fact until forced to via federal laws many banks/credit/charge card companies simply refused to grant married women credit in their own names. The woman was told to bring her husband down/have him sign the papers.

What got many women upset about the CCA of 2009 is that is seemed to push things back to the bad old days; that is a married woman having no financial identity outside that of her husband. https://www.creditcards.com/credit-c...ncome-1282.php

Despite all the going on about equality or whatever, American women still by and large want things both ways. Treated as equals in workplace and other areas outside the home, but then rewarded and or otherwise compensated for *not* holding any other "employment" than being a wife and mother.

On the face of things granting credit to anyone without visible means to repay is not a sound business decision. But as noted above sticking strictly to that puts large numbers of Americans at a disadvantage. So the laws were revised to spilt the difference.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 8:29 pm
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My wife has been a SAHM for a number of years with limited credit history before we were married. She was an authorized user on my accounts for the first few years. Now, she uses household income and has never been denied a card (she's usually around 7/24).
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Old Nov 3, 18, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
The age 21 or older thing does not make a lot of sense. For college kids who are younger than 21, they can't include their parents' income?
Correct. It actually makes perfect sense.

Then how can they get the income to pay the tuition (like $30,000 or so), room and board and daily expenses?
Massive amounts of student loans. It's generally not something the older generations, who could pay tuition with a summer job, know much about.

And a lot of students get CCs anyhow.
Most work in exchange for income. That income allows them to open credit cards in their own name. There's no "anyhow" involved. Those that don't can have parents cosign.

This is really a gray area of the income from parents or from spouse. I personally do not think it is wrong to say that your 20-year old son makes $40,000 in order to get his CC. Or your spouse making $40,000 to get her first CC. The parents or husband (or other earners) pay the household debts anyhow. You can say the reported income is not true, but it is the reality.
There's no "gray area." You can choose to lie about income or lie on a bank application. It's not perjury. But don't also try to make yourself feel better by telling yourself everyone lies, they don't.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 12:42 am
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Some cards say individual income, some say household. However, they also generally ask for other assets you have available.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 2:04 am
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When applying for my CSR, the application said I could use household income (maybe not in those exact words) so I added in my wife's income. Now she's a stay at home mom and has no income but she put my income for the Hilton Aspire.

Ironically I just got a mailer from Chase asking me to update my income and enter the code in the mailer to raise my credit limit without an inquiry. If only they knew updating my income would cut the number by more than half. lol Needless to say I shredded it and didn't touch anything.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by OATS09 View Post
When applying for my CSR, the application said I could use household income (maybe not in those exact words) so I added in my wife's income. Now she's a stay at home mom and has no income but she put my income for the Hilton Aspire.

Ironically I just got a mailer from Chase asking me to update my income and enter the code in the mailer to raise my credit limit without an inquiry. If only they knew updating my income would cut the number by more than half. lol Needless to say I shredded it and didn't touch anything.
According to the logic raised by some individual(s) here, you should call Chase and report your reduced income and get your CL slashed.

The main topics here is that, no matter what rules and Fed and the Banks make, you should always remember that when you use CCs, you borrow money. You never want to spend beyond your means. We have people struggle to pay CC bills from Walmart shopping. Then we get people who struggle to pay $50,000 from overseas travels.

The banks always want you to borrow and pay 19% CC interest. It is part of the CC business. This is much better than other lendings.

Last edited by EmailKid; Nov 5, 18 at 11:26 am Reason: Off topic comments removed
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