The biggest news this week is all about the shakeups in federal housing and education programs.
FAFSA Changes Incorporate Same-Sex Couples Now
The Department of Education announced a major policy change this week that will impact same-sex couples and their children.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will now take into account the incomes of all legal guardians of an applicant, as long as the guardians live in the same residence. Prior to this policy change, same-sex couples who were both legal guardians of a child could not both be listed on the FAFSA form.
While the change means that children of same-sex couples will likely be eligible for less financial aid, since two incomes will now be considered in the expected family contribution, it’s seen as a positive step toward equality by many LGBT advocates.
Obama Names New FHFA Director
President Obama held a press briefing Wednesday to announce the appointment of North Carolina Rep. Mel Watt. Watt was a member of the House Financial Services Committee and has served in Congress for two decades.
The importance of his appointment for homeowners relates to the battle over whether or not Fannie and Freddie should reduce principals on the loans they’ve made to help underwater homeowners. The policy has seen support from President Obama, and Rep. Watt has expressed his support as well.
New Rule Re-Opens Credit to Stay-At-Home Parents
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the finalization of a new rule this week that would re-open credit cards to those above 21 who are married but don’t have their own income.
The rule, which corrects a problem that arose with the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, would allow more stay-at-home parents to be approved for credit cards, despite the fact that they don’t have income of their own.
Image: NS Newsflash, via Flickr