Over the years this question has plagued many of our readers. Many people wonder whether or not their stay at home spouse can apply for a credit card separately. The short answer is yes, but continue reading to better understand why.
Credit is Individual
Whether you’re married or not, you both have your own credit scores. This is important to know when greedily seeking credit card sign up bonuses for your non-working spouse. Both of you need to have credit, and it should be excellent credit.
If your stay at home spouse doesn’t have good credit, you could consider adding him/her to one of your cards as an authorized user. This will help strengthen their score and give them stability.
Isn’t Being an Authorized User Just as Good?
Heavens no. Being an authorized user won’t result in 40,000 additional Ultimate Rewards, or 50,000 AAdvantage Miles. When you’re really cranking out Frequent Flyer Miles you both need to pick up the Sapphire Preferred which gives you 40k and her 40k, which means now you’ve got 80k miles.
Getting a card for each of you will load your Award Wallet with more miles, which means more vacations, and more smiles. Life is good when you’re on the road visiting new places. Our strategies will help you to take more vacations more often than your neighbors and friends, which will make them jealous. The good thing is that you can share this blog with them to help them visit more places for less.
What about the Income Question?
When was the last time you know someone who got divorced and the non-working spouse got nothing from the divorce? Try never.
Living in Idaho, which is a community property state, means that everything that is mine, is my wife’s. Whether she earned it, or I did, the court doesn’t care and it belongs to both of us. That’s reason alone for me to put our household income on the application.
On April 29th of 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made an amendment that allows for stay-at-home spouses to use household income on the application as long as they have access to the money, and a few other criterion. This is great news for all people who have spouses that stay at home with their children.
Now you can put the household income on the application for your spouse who stays at home. This will result in more applications, a better credit score (when you manage it properly), and more trips.
What about the Occupation?
As far as I can tell, the banks who issue the credit cards can still be more strict on approvals for homemakers if they see a higher risk of default among those consumers than those who are fully employed.
There isn’t any clear advice to give here about your non-working spouse, but you answer the question as you see fit. Oftentimes I’ll input “Self-Employed” for my spouse because of some businesses that we work on together. That is honest, and hopefully it gives her better chances of being approved.
Go Get a Credit Card for Your Stay-at-Home Spouse
Give it a shot. Your 800 credit score isn’t going to win you any awards. It might as well win you some points and miles! You might as well put a bit of stress on it to rack up more points and miles. You’ll be able to get double the amount of cards that you otherwise, which means more vacations and less out of your pocket.
Check out the Best Travel Credit Cards page and see which cards you need to get for your spouse that stays home.
Be Careful With Your Credit
As always. We preach responsibility along with this hobby. Never:
- Buy something on a credit card that you wouldn’t buy with cash.
- Carry a balance on your 20% interest credit cards.
- Apply for more credit cards than you feel comfortable getting.
- Be late for a payment.
Take good care of your credit because it is a useful tool you’ll need to finance larger items. Never allow yourself to rack up debt on credit cards or all the benefits of this hobby will be negated by the massive interest you’d be paying.
What has been your experience? Have you been successful getting credit cards for your stay at home spouse?