Uh-oh. I think I just got caught up in an unintended consequence.

My new credit card application wasn’t denied, but set for further review. I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting it.

I applied for a new Capital One card today because my list of things to do included fixing the little travel glitch we often have with the youngest using the card in NYC (pre-arranged okey dokey from the parents – she’s incredibly responsible with it and it’s necessary given the distance from home) and we’re on the road. We’ll be on the road again at the end of April, so now’s a good time to fix it, right? Picking up another card should do it.

Wrong. According to this article from Business Week, it looks like my husband will need to be applying for the card. At a minimum he’ll be co-signing the application.

Charged with writing rules implementing the 2009 law designed to curb credit-card abuses, the Fed late last year proposed that card companies consider “individual” rather than “household” income or assets when issuing cards. The change, say lawmakers who worked on the measure, is meant to prevent banks from issuing credit cards to college students who then run up thousands of dollars in debt and have no ability to pay.

The Fed, which has spent most of the financial crisis getting slammed for its lax oversight of consumer credit, took things a step further, interpreting the law to mean that it should keep credit cards out of the hands of anyone without a paycheck or ample personal savings. That, of course, includes spouses who don’t work—husbands in some cases but most often wives. In its November proposal, the Fed said those without an income could get a credit card if a spouse co-signed the application.

It’s frustrating. I’ve not worked for years except the few dollars I earned being elected. Still, our household income is good and our credit is excellent. I am, I feel, stuck back in the age where I have to have my husband’s permission to get a credit card. The spouse won’t be thrilled with one more thing to do on his list. One of the things I’ve been very good at over the years is keeping his home world easy so he can go do what he does best.

I feel kind of dirty somehow, being a kept woman and all that. Thanks to you, my federal government, for the lack of happiness in my last hour. Your vigilance is most assuredly wasted in this particular effort.