By: Julie Szpira
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A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with a friend and her husband. We were talking about frequent flyer miles, credit card points and sign up bonuses (my favorite topics), and I asked if they had each signed up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
My friend said “No”, and explained that since her husband was in school, his student income was too low to apply for credit cards.
We were thankfully in a loud restaurant, because I pretty much screamed, “You’re married! You can use HOUSEHOLD INCOME!”
What Counts as Income
Prior to 2009, credit card companies were generous in their credit card approvals. Almost everyone was approved, and huge credit lines were extended to some that did not have the ability to pay the bill. This resulted in many people experiencing default, bankruptcy and ending up with terrible credit scores.
In 2009, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) became law. It requires credit card companies to assess an applicant’s ability to pay, before opening a new account or increasing an existing credit line.