Letters: Credit card firms reject me because I'm a stay-at-home parent
A U.S. Postal Service letter carrier prepares to place letters in a mailbox.
This week we address these questions from our listeners:
Jamie from Minneapolis, Minn. writes:
"I'm a stay-at-home mom and found out recently that it's really hard for me to get my own credit card! My husband has a solid job, we own our home, so we have good mortgage payment history, and we have a couple of credit cards that we pay off in full every month. Unfortunately, those cards are all in his name with me as a secondary cardholder. I have tried twice to get a credit card in my own name and was declined both times. Both times they said I didn't have enough revolving credit history to be able to get a credit card... Any suggestions?"
Grace from Minneapolis, Minn. writes:
"I'm 25 years old, I have a bachelors, no debt, and I'm currently making about $68k a year. I have some savings as well as 401k and a roth. I live with my boyfriend who will be graduating college in a year and probably going on to grad school (so we're not sure what sort of income he can expect for another 3 years or so). I am considering starting my own business in the next few years as well as trying to prepare for starting a family in the next 5 years.
I recently spoke with a financial planner who suggested that I take out a permanent life insurance policy as a form of mid to long term savings. He presented the upsides that it accrues value and that it's a non-taxable investment, but I'm not sure about taking out a big life insurance policy as an unmarried 25 year old with no kids, plus I have never heard of this kind of policy being used as a savings vehicle before. I am worried about how to save for 5-15 years out, does this sound like a good method for doing that or should I be considering other options?"
Nurudeen from Flint, Mich. writes:
"I just graduated from a 4 year Engineering college in December. My graduation gift is some money I can use to invest in my future. It can be real estate, stocks, bonds etc. However, I'm from Nigeria and not sure what the procedure is to invest as a resident Alien. Also I don't know too much about investing so I wouldn't want to create the portfolio myself. Would it be wise to pay someone to invest my money considering what has happened over the last 4 years? I'm currently in my first year of graduate school pursuing my master in Electrical Engineering."
To hear personal finance journalist Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of "The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for You, Your Life and Your Money," address these questions and more, click the audio player above.