Contributed by DMW

The Credit Card Act of 2009 was designed to prevent college students from acquiring too much debt.  The Act requires anyone to either make a certain amount of income on their own or have a cosigner liable for their debts. While the Act seems to be a great idea, there is a loophole that seriously undermines another segment of the population – stay at home parents.  The rule applies to everyone and any applicant has to give their individual income, not the household income. 

Why does this matter?  Of course one spouse will cosign for their partner.  Maybe, maybe not.  Having a credit card is one of the most important factors to achieving financial independence, as it enables a person to establish their own credit score.  Without a high credit score, the stay at home spouse will not be able to get their own credit card, a loan or even a place to live in the event of a divorce or death of the spouse. 

Victims of spousal abuse will be at their abusers mercy as they will not have a means of escape financially.  Without a credit history of their own, how would someone be able to feed their children if they were to move away from an abusive spouse?  If all they have are a joint account or cosigned account, the abusive spouse will be able to track them down.

While the Federal government sees this loophole as ‘inconvenient’, others see it as a new way to make stay at home parents, who are mostly women, back into second-class citizen status.  What is your opinion?