WASHINGTON (1/8/13)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) supports a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) plan to address credit-access issues, but suggested some simple tweaks in a comment letter to improve the regulatory change.
For purposes of Regulation Z's ability-to-pay requirement, the CFPB proposal would allow credit card applicants who are 21 years of age or older to list funds of a spouse or partner to which the applicant has access. The proposal would change portions of Regulation Z that have in some cases limited the ability of stay-at-home spouses to secure new lines of credit.
CUNA in the comment letter suggested the agency clarify how credit unions and other credit card issuers will apply this revised standard once implemented.
The CFPB as it develops a final version of the proposal should also clarify that credit card issuers have sole discretion in determining:
- whether a credit card applicant has "reasonable expectation of access" to the income of a spouse or partner; and
- whether to extend credit to the consumer.
Further, the CFPB should provide supplemental guidance in regard to factors an issuer may choose to consider in determining "reasonable expectation of access," CUNA said.
The proposal applies to all applicants regardless of marital status, and the Bureau expects that it will ease access to credit particularly for stay-at-home spouses or partners who have access to a working spouse or partner's income.
For the full CUNA comment letter, use the resource link.