Store Credit Cards on the Spot? Not So Fast

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The days of getting a store-affiliated credit card in seconds at the checkout line of a Macy’s, Talbots, or any other store may be over.

Why? Those nutty government regulators may make creditors consider the customer’s income and ability to pay before approving him or her for plastic. From the WSJ:

Instant credit is likely to be reined in by a provision of the law forcing creditors to consider ability to pay before opening a new credit-card account.

The Federal Reserve, issuing proposals on how it will promulgate the new law, is saying that evaluation of the credit-worthiness of consumers “must include a review of the consumer’s income or assets as well as the consumer’s current obligations.”

Many big-name stores entice shoppers into signing up for their credit card with instant savings offers. You’ve probably heard such offers many times over: “Would you like to save 15% on your purchase today?” a checkout clerk asks.

Consider the offer carefully. While the instant savings is great, the terms of most store credit cards are not, with sky-high interest rates and without the consumer protection included with major cards.