Stay-at-home moms or women with modest individual income historically have struggled to gain access to credit. However, recent legislation allows you to include accessible household income when completing an application.
Traditional Application Requirements
The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 put several new restrictions in place to require card providers to exercise more caution in issuing credit. One requirement was that creditors carefully evaluate an applicant's ability to pay debt before issuing a card. For a stay-at-home spouse or a low-income earner, this restriction put a serious damper on the ability to qualify for a card.
In April 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau updated certain regulations of the credit card act. One update allows creditors to consider household income in lieu of personal income. Married women who don't work generally share financial resources with their spouse, and therefore, have access to resources to repay debt. Card applications now ask for details about annual household income instead of, or in addition to, personal income of the applicant.