If a credit card was a canary, I'd say it would be chirping happily right now.
In the last month or so, there's been some good news out there for credit card users, and which may indicate a stronger economy ahead. Here's a recap of what's been making the news in the last couple weeks.
Easier credit coming for stay-at-home parents
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's director Richard Cordray recently announced that they will propose a rule sometime over the next few months, and if it's enacted, it will be easier for people who apply for a credit card without income from a job to qualify for a credit card.
Of course, that sounds crazy at first. If you don't have income, why on earth should you be given a credit card? That said, last year, thanks to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, better known as the CARD Act, it became harder and virtually impossible for non-working spouses to apply for a credit card. That wasn't the intention of the CARD Act. They wanted to prevent college students and young adults who didn't have a lot of income from getting credit cards -- think of those living with Mom and Dad and, perhaps unbeknownst to Mom and Dad, listing their parents' income as how they would pay for their credit card. But the result is that a lot of stay-at-home parents, who choose to stay at home while the other spouse works, were being denied credit cards.
But soon, stay-at-home parents should be able to apply for a credit card without feeling like they're a second-rate citizen.
More zero-percent interest introductory offers on credit cards
A slew of stories in the media lately have been reporting about zero-percent interest promotions for credit cards. They almost went extinct during the Great Recession, but in the last few months, we've been seeing some pretty great offers for balance transfers and new purchases.
Collective credit card debt is lower than ever
The American Bankers Association recently released a report stating that late payments on credit cards have dropped to the lowest levels since 2001. Only 2.93% of bank card accounts were 30 or more days late, which is down from an average of 3.08% in the last 15 years. So, hooray!
But that said, it's not all great news. While people are paying down their credit card loans, and on time, personal loans, RV loans, property improvement loans, home equity loans and bank-issued auto loans have been late , according to the American Bankers Association. But, at least when it comes to credit cards, the canary's still kickin'!