How to Report Income on a Credit Card Application When You’re Retired

Credit card applications accept other sources of income besides just wages from work.

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When you’re retired and seeking a new credit card, there’s one field on the application that might give you pause: the field where you state your annual income.

Without a periodic paycheck, answering that question gets a little more complicated, especially if you’re concerned that you no longer earn enough to qualify for the card you want.

But other sources of income count, too. Here’s what you can include in a credit card application when you’re retired.

Income from self-employment, part-time or seasonal work

You’ve ditched the 9-to-5, but if you continue to earn income from freelance or part-time jobs, that counts. You can combine your total earnings from these sources with the other acceptable income sources listed below.

Retirement and investment income

Withdrawals from your retirement accounts count as income, as do Social Security benefits. You can also include earnings from investments, as well as interest and dividends.

Plus, if you own a rental property, your earnings from that venture are also valid income sources.

Money from family, a spouse, partner or ex

If your spouse or partner is still working, you can include their income on your credit card application. Thanks to a 2013 amendment to the 2009 Card Act, applicants ages 21 and up can list income they have “reasonable expectation of access to” — meaning a spouse's or partner’s wages that you can access to pay bills. This also includes money you may receive from other family members who help support you financially.

You can also include alimony, child support and separate maintenance from an ex-spouse, but this isn’t required. However, it’s an option if you intend to rely on these funds for bill payment.

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