Friday, January 22, 2010

Card issuers ready to check cardholder income, assets

"Starting Feb. 22, when major provisions of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 take effect, anytime you apply for a new credit card or your credit limit is increased on an existing account, card issuers must consider whether you can actually repay the card loan. In many cases, that will mean a behind-the-scenes financial checkup on a credit card applicant's income or assets.

But you're unlikely to be asked to hand over paycheck stubs or other financial documents to issuers. Instead, you'll be judged by new statistical tools -- called income estimation models -- rolled out recently by the major credit reporting bureaus and approved by the Federal Reserve for use in assessing ability to pay. The tools will estimate a consumer's income based on card application information, credit bureau data and information from employment and IRS tax databases."

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