Posting this from a different thread: Things are kind of shaky in my area employment-wise, lots of layoffs. Mostly in manufacturing, but the education arena has taken a huge hit, too, thanks to massive budget cuts. That's where I took the hit. I'm lucky in that my profession is very hot and getting hotter according to all the job outlook information I can gather (desktop publishing -- I'm a writer and graphic designer). However, it's not so easy getting on salary around here, a small city in a basically rural area with mainly manufacturing concerns forming the economic base. Moving to a more metropolitan area isn't an option due to family considerations. I would probably have a lot more luck running a freelance writing/design business, taking outsourcing jobs instead of trying to get on staff. Businesses still need promotional materials even when business is down -- they need them more, in fact, though it seems only the smart ones realize it. Given that scenario, what answer do I give when asked about my employer and salary? What kind of proof are CC companies going to look for when they don't have an employer they can call for verification of salary? And given that businesses don't tend to turn much of a profit the first year or two in business (though I'm better situated than most, already having all the equipment and software I need and able to work out of my home instead of renting storefront or office space), would it be more advantageous to just work on paying down existing balances until I can prove I'm making a reliable income?