Eliminate income requirements for secured cards: Simply boosting the availability of joint applications won’t completely solve the credit building problem for stay-at-home spouses, as they would still lack independence. That wouldn’t be an issue if you also enable anyone who can place the required security deposit to open a secured credit card. When you think about it, you shouldn’t have to demonstrate consistent income in order to get a secured card because the security deposit you have to place acts as your credit line and therefore naturally prevents overspending and protects issuers financially. And since secured credit cards are indistinguishable from unsecured credit cards on credit reports, all you’d need to build credit is at least $200.
At the end of the day, the importance of a good credit score and the recent economic uncertainty necessitate not simply opting for the type of quick fix advocated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There’s no reason why we should have to choose between stay-at-home moms and dads and an efficient credit card approval system because unlike someone who wants to have their cake and eat it too, everyone can win in this situation.
Odysseas Papadimitriou, a former Capital One senior director, is CEO of the credit card comparison website Card Hub as well as the new personal finance social network Wallet Hub, where you can read and write reviews on companies, products and people.
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