Ashley Boyd

    Denied! Stand up for stay at home moms, dads, caregivers

    Posted December 7th, 2011 by

    Denied.

    That’s the response Holly McCall of Virginia received when she recently applied for a credit card.

    The reason?  Holly is a stay-at-home mother.

    Effective October 1st – just as parents are stocking up on holiday gifts – credit card companies are required to consider an applicant’s individual income, rather than household income, to qualify for credit.  The Federal Reserve believes the new rule is required under the CARD Act (Credit Accountability, Responsibility & Disclosure Act), a law that was supposed to protect consumers from misleading credit card practices and prevent young adults from getting excessive lines of credit without supporting income.[1] However, the bill authors had no intention for the CARD Act to make stay-at-home parents second-class citizens in the financial world and are appealing for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to use its authority to change these rules.[2]

    This retro financial rule has got to go.  Tell the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that these rules are unfair to stay-at-home parents and must be changed immediately:

    http://action.momsrising.org/letter/CARDAct/

    Together, we can fix this retro rule. After you take action via the above link, Holly and MomsRising members will deliver your letters directly to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the year’s busiest shopping season as a way to pressure them to reconsider these rules right away.

    Think this is just a small inconvenience?  Think again.  The new rule means stay-at-home parents can only get access to new credit cards by becoming an “authorized user” of their spouse’s card.

    As a result:

    * Stay-at-home parents may not be able to build an independent credit history they can rely upon in the case of spousal death, separation, or divorce.

    * Partners in abusive relationships may have difficulty leaving a spouse due to the financial constraints of not having their own credit established.

    Rejecting household income as a basis for credit card qualification sends an insulting message that stay-at-home parents have no economic value and are as credit-worthy as an unemployed college student!  Holly says, “I make most day-to-day financial decisions for our household and our income is my income. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time to where women are not considered equal partners in financial decisions.”

    Having a credit card is an essential financial tool for making online purchases, making travel reservations and payments, and qualifying for a business loan or home mortgage. Women (including stay-at-home mothers) make most of the purchasing decisions for their families. In fact, U.S. women spend more than $3.7 trillion annually on consumer goods and services, plus another $1.5 trillion as purchasing agents for businesses. As a group, U.S. women constitute the number three market in the world, with their collective buying power exceeding the economy of Japan.[3]

    Stay-at-home parents deserve respect and access to credit.  Send a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now.

    http://action.momsrising.org/letter/CARDAct/

    It’s time for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to fix this broken rule.  The CARD Act was well-intentioned legislation that was supposed to protect consumers, not unfairly limit their access to the credit they need to shop for themselves and their families.  It’s time to change the rules to protect stay-at-home parents’ today and for the future.

    Together we can fix this problem–and the more voices who come forward, the bigger the impact we’ll have together.  Please take a moment to forward this email to friends and family–and to post the action link on your Facebook page.

    Thanks for standing up for all parents!
    – Ashley, Holly and the whole MomsRising.org team

    [1] Press Release, U.S. Federal Reserve, March 18, 2011.

    [2] Press Release, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter; Press Release, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

    [3] BSM Media, Marketing to Moms Report

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    16 Comments

    March 6, 2013 at 9:53 am by credit scores for best rates

    s truly really worth going back house and getting the credit card for purchasing that merchandise.
    So, a late payment made 2 months ago has more of
    a negative impact than a late payment made 22 months ago.
    Even if you are new or re-building credit, you can start with secured credit cards like those offered by Capital One, that required a security deposit.

    [Reply]

    June 6, 2012 at 8:48 am by Bron

    I don’t get what the issue is. If you have no income then of course the bank shouldn’t give you a credit card. The banks need to be assured that you can pay the debt of, particularly with the rising debt and worsening economy in the US at the moment.

    Rather than an overly dramatic exercise in stupidity, why not just get a 2nd card of your working partners account?

    or go get a job.

    Problem solved.

    [Reply]

    May 3, 2012 at 1:20 am by Chris

    Behold: A solution for your problem! Have your husband give you a 1099 tax form at the end of each year for the share of his money you both feel being a stay at home mom is worth, and then file separately. You file your taxes with this form and pay taxes on the money he paid you for the year, and Poof! You have your own income and can use that as a method of providing proof that you can repay your own, individual, debt. Bad side, as your own wage earner, you have to pay taxes on your income. If only you didn’t need to have your own credit card without his help! Fact is, he can cosign and you’d get a credit rating that way too. but I digress… If only the income tax, banking and credit systems could see that a person should be able to get a credit card just by being associated with someone who has an income… Dumb. If YOU want a credit card, it should be based off YOUR credit and YOUR income. If you don’t have any credit, the you shouldn’t get a credit card. If you want to get a credit card using household income, then that credit card should be based on all of the credit ratings in the household, not just yours. If your husband doesn’t want his credit evaluated for your credit card, and you can’t get one on your own, then you shouldn’t get one. but, that discriminates against stay at home moms? No, it discriminates against people with no credit and no income – which is what the system IS SUPPOSED TO DO! Enter: your petition.

    Seriously though, my wife used “combined household income” to obtain American Express, and other credit cards while the whole time I was the only source of the income she was using to repay this debt. She maxed out EVERY single card and I had to borrow money in MY name to pay off HER bills. Tell you what. I’ll forego EVERY credit card I have and YOU go out 10 hours a day 5 days a week and do what I do. I would LOVE to stay home and do laundry and take care of the kids. Sounds like fun, actually. A lot funner than putting up with Corporate America.

    Anyway, this pisses me off because it’s just dumb. If your husband wants you to have income, have him 1099 you and file separately. If YOU want to have provable income, have him 1099 you and file separately. If you want everyone to pitty you for not being able to have credit without having an independant revenue stream, you’re not paying attention. Why would I lend you money if YOU don’t have your own income to pay me back? Because you got 25000 people to sign a petition? Hell no, and it’s too big for a petition to revamp anyway. Give up. It makes me angry that you even started a petition.

    [Reply]

    May 3, 2012 at 1:12 am by Giselle

    So you are angry that YOU can’t claim your HUSBANDS money as your own? You talk about “being set back”, but you rely on a MANS paycheck? Please…

    I am an ACTIVE DUTY SINGLE MOM. You want to move forward, get off your butt, earn your OWN money, then get all the credit you want.

    The reason why they won’t let you claim your husbands money, who’s to say you aren’t trying to screw him over??? Who’s to say YOU, a stranger, with no money of your own, is not trying to commit FRAUD. Yes, FRAUD.

    Call me hateful, call me a bitch, say I “don’t understand” (I do…I WAS a stay at home mom till my ex husband screwed things up) and got up and changed my life.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    @Giselle, Hell Yeah! Two, self sufficient, people get together and make a life! If one falls behind, and drags his feet to catch up, then he gets cut loose. By he, I also mean it could be SHE. Just do the right thing and take care of your obligations. Be real, and be forthcoming. Forget about a bunch of Petition.

    [Reply]

    May 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm by Alicia

    I couldn’t be more against your position. My ex-husband was allowed to take on more credit than he could pay using my income. When I demanded he lower his credit limit he wouldn’t. When I asked the credit card company to do so, they wouldn’t. I asked them to stop using my income to determine his credit worthiness and they wouldn’t. He destroyed our life together because he couldn’t manage money but there was nothing I could do once the banks got ahold of him. My current husband is a stay at home dad. I appreciate the sentiments but if you don’t earn money you can’t be held liable for debts, the income earner is. So, the person who earns it has to have the ultimate control. Keep in mind, if you want the banks to give credit to people with no income, petition that they should agree they can’t go after the spouse if the person doesn’t pay. If your husband won’t open up a credit card for you to do basic household business, you need to have a talk with him just like you would if he stopped giving you access to the bank accounts. If it is demeaning to need your spouse’s help to get credit, why isn’t it demeaning to need your spouse’s help to pay the bills?

    [Reply]

    May 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm by annoyed

    This is a non-issue. You have no right to request a line of credit using money you did not earn. The solution is simple – you want a credit card in your name? Get a job. If it is your husband’s hard-earned money that will be used to pay the bill, then he should absolutely have a say in whether to have a line opened. Being a stay-at-home parent is a great ‘job’ but as with any other occupation there are upsides and downsides. Not being able to hold your own credit card is simply one of the downsides. Get over it.

    [Reply]

    April 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm by muriel schnierow

    Lisa call me or email me i have the whole story.
    Muriel
    Murs@kwom.com

    [Reply]

    April 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm by Mandy Wells

    A couple of things that I’m concerned about:

    1. Would a married woman who had been a stay-at-home parent still be liable for husband’s debt if he died?

    2. This could keep women in some industies from re-entering the workforce because a good credit rating is part of the application process.

    3. Will this affect student loan rates?

    [Reply]

    March 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm by Kawitsara

    Your credit card euissr will pass full the debt you owe to a debt collections agency this company buys the credit card’s debt from from your credit card euissr so takes over from them. These people are in the business to handle bad debtors and then they will chase you for the money. First you will get a letter stating you have to pay within so many days else they will take legal proceedings and if you refuse to pay or make some arrangement for repayments they can take you to court. There the judge can do what ever is necessary to reclaim the money you owe either garnish your wages or send bailiffs to seize your property and demand any remaining money still owed.You borrowed the money it is in your interest and honesty to repay it back and move on in life. That is what I am doing with my debts and it is far easier to repay than go to court and you will feel better. Even small payments arranged are better than no payments.

    [Reply]

    January 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm by Lisa Tabb

    I am a producer at ABC 7 News in SF and I’m working on a story about this issue. Are there any moms out there that have been denied recently?

    [Reply]

    Anita Reply:

    We’ll look into it and get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for your inquiry.

    [Reply]

    Eve Reply:

    @Lisa Tabb, yes – today!

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    @Eve,
    Do you happen to live in the Bay Area? If so, can I interview you? Give a call 415-954-7487.

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    [Reply]

    muriel schnierow Reply:

    @Lisa Tabb,
    Lisa : i was divorced in 1957 after close to 10 years of marriage by my college classmate husband.i got on the Ny to Chicago train with 10 $10.00
    bills,2 babies.my daughter with a hole in her heart, a crying son, an eviction notice,cut off health insurance and pneumonia. When i got home i collapsed. he closed the accounts and the lawyer couldnt find them. I remarried a wonderful man and had at that time$300.00. i certainly couldnt get credit.i had been working for peanuts. My wonderful husband helped me get credit-i went to work, borrowed money and paid it back immediately, put all my earnings in mutual funds, we both invested,and
    we accumulated savings and finally i got credit card and had some savings.My husband died nd i was left with bills which i paid off by working 24-7.
    my x husband went into business with his wife liz claiborne 20 years aftert he divorce, and they walked out with $400 million dollars as did my roomate who married my x’s roomate. When Liz died in 2007 #1 Art Ortenberg put out publicity about the misery of his first marriage(to me) and i had no recourse because i was a stay at home mother when the divorce took place..
    they flew to Mexico in 1957,registered in El paso,divorced me in Ciudad Juarez, registered it in El Paso ,but forgot that i had to send a lawyer.New York doesnt accept those divorces but wont overturn the ones from the 50′s too many.
    i am comfortably retired and Art still says he owes me no money because i did not make a financial contribution as a stay at home mother.Raising the children without him doesnt count.and the courts would support him.
    Muriel Schnierow

    [Reply]

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