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CFPB Changes Stay-at-Home Spouse Rule

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The federal government's consumer watchdog has changed a regulation to make it easier for stay-at-home parents and others who don't work to be approved for new credit cards.

Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a regulation change to allow card companies to consider financial support from other people when evaluating a consumer's credit-card application. It changes a 2011 regulation under which banks were allowed to consider only the applicant's income.

The 2011 regulation and its more accommodating new version both grew out of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. Its underlying purpose was to clamp down on students getting cards and racking up debt they couldn't repay, and it required individuals applying for credit to demonstrate an ability to repay what they borrowed.

As originally written, though, the regulation had a side-effect impacting more than students: Its "ability to repay" language meant that anyone who relied on someone else's income -- including stay-at-home parents or spouses who are divorced and don't work -- suddenly had a harder time being approved for credit cards and building credit histories in their own names.

"Stay-at-home spouses or partners who have access to resources that allow them to make payments on a credit card can now get their own cards," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in announcing the rule change.  The agency proposed the change in October 2012, calling it a common-sense move.

Instead of just an individual's income, issuers can now consider broader measures, such as "available income" or "accessible income." Previously an issuer could not consider household income -- which used to be widely used on credit-card applications -- without confirming how much money the applicant has access to in order to pay bills. The changes apply to people 21 and older. 

Census data show that there are roughly 5 million full-time, stay-at-home moms and roughly 150,000 stay-at-home dads in married households with children. The numbers are higher if you add in other family arrangements such as unmarried couples, part-time working parents, married couples with no children, and adults caring for their aging parents.

The bureau's modification comes after a bipartisan Congressional group pushed for the change. The House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing on the topic in June 2012.


Read more: FoxBusiness.com

Keywords: SAHD, stay at home dad, stay at home

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Sesame Street and USO Tour - Japan and Korea

SesameUSO.jpgYEAH SESAME STREET!  This tour is still going on for those in Japan and Korea.  Could be a great way to spend an afternoon with your family!

 

The tour which begins at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on May 29 and will visit 42 bases in 8 European and Pacific countries over the next six months.  The organizations hope others will be inspired to learn more and suggest these five simple actions everyone can do to support military families:
 
1.        Volunteer at one of the more than 160 USO locations around the world and discover ways you can take action locally.
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4.        Lend an ear to listen to a military spouse as sometimes just having someone there to vent to or talk to when you may feel all alone can be the greatest support of all.
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Operation USO Care Packages contain vital items troops use every day, from prepaid international phone cards and snacks to travel-size toiletries and comfort items.  Designed as a way for America to say 'thank you' to our troops and their families overseas as well as to unite communities, today's Care Packages included a special gratitude card from Cookie Monster as well as a personal note to troops signed by USO Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., Tim Walz, DFL-Minn., Howard (Buck) McKeon, R-Cali., and Adam Smith, D-Wash.
 
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