If you’re applying for a credit card, you might stumble upon this term “accessible income.” In fact, that’s the only situation in which you will come across the term: on a credit card application. So, you need to know what it is.
Accessible income is not just income you earn from your regular job. Rather, it includes much more than that. It includes income from a wide variety of sources, like retirement savings accounts, social security payments, trust funds, just to name a few.
Accessible income can work in your favor because not only you can list income from your job, but also all types of other money you receive in a given year. This in turn will increase your chance of getting approved for the credit card, simply because you can list a higher income.
It also can get you approved for a higher credit limit, which in turn can help your credit score and allow you more spending freedom. In this article, I will explain what accessible income is and the types of income you need to include in your credit card application. Before you start applying for too many credit cards, consult with a financial advisor who can help you develop a plan.
What is accessible income?
Accessible income means all of the money that you have accessed to if you are 21 years old or older. According to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, lenders are required to offer you credit if you are able to pay your bill. If you do not make enough money and do not receive enough income from other sources and cannot make payments, they can reject your application. That is why they ask for your accessible income.
If you are between the age of 18 and 20, your accessible income is limited to income for your job, scholarships, grants and money from your parents or other people.
However, if you are 21 and older, your accessible income involves way more than that. It includes income from the following sources:
- Income paychecks
- Bank checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Income of a spouse
- Grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid
- Investments income
- Retirement funds
- Trust funds
- Passive income
- Checks from child support and spousal maintenance
- Allowances from your parents or grandparents
- Social security payments or SSI Disability payments
To report that accessible income, just add them all up to arrive at a total and submit it. The credit card companies will not ask you to provide the specific source of each income
What does not count as accessible income
Loans including personal loans, mortgage, auto loans do not count as accessible income simply because they are borrowed money. So, do not list them when submitting your credit card application.
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Accessible income on the credit card application
Accessible income is only associated with credit card applications. In other words, you’re only asked that when you’re applying for credit cards. When applying for a credit card, you should take advantage of all sources of income and not just the income from your job.
So, you should make sure to gather all of the money you have accessed to that year. Not doing so means that you’re leaving other income that is just as important. As mentioned above, you should not include loans or any borrowed money.
When reporting your accessible income, be as accurate and truthful as possible. While some credit card companies may take your word for it, others may ask you to verify your income. In that case, you will need to provide hard proof like pay stubs, bank statements, statement from your investments accounts, etc…
Why providing accessible income important?
Your credit score is the most important factor credit card companies rely on to decide whether to offer you a credit card. However, your income is also important. The higher your income, the better.
A high income means that you’re able to cover debt that you may accumulate on your credit card. And the higher your chance is that they will approve you. The opposite is true. If you have a low income, some credit card companies may not approve you even if you have a good credit score. So, in order to increase your chance, you should take advantage of accessible income.
The only situation where you will find “accessible income” is on a credit card application. Accessible income is all income you have access to in any given year. That includes much more than your paychecks from your regular jobs.
But it also includes all types of money including checks from child support or alimony, allowances from your parents or grandparents, money in your retirement and investment accounts, etc. So, you should take advantage of it when applying for a credit card.
Speak with the Right Financial Advisor
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.