Financial institutions such as BancOne are moving to launch 401(k) credit cards-if, that is, they can overcome several obstacles: the IRS, the Department of Labor, and Congress.

The bank's repeated plans to launch a Visa card allowing people to borrow from their 401(k) retirement accounts is on hold, say officials of Columbus, OH-based BancOne. "We requested an IRS private letter ruling a year ago, but it's not been received," says a BancOne spokesman. The bank received a non-committal Department of Labor ruling on its plan last June. "We're waiting to see what happens on the Hill," he says.

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