Credit Rights of Women

“A good credit history—a record of your payments—often is necessary to get credit.  This can hurt many married, separated, divorced, and widowed women.  Typically, there are two reasons women don’t have credit histories in their own names: either they have lost their credit histories when they married and changed their names, or creditors reported accounts shared by married couples in the husband’s name only.

If you’re married, separated, divorced, or widowed, contact your local credit reporting companies to make sure all relevant bill payment information is in a file under your own name.  You credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested or filed bankruptcy.  National credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that in turn, use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—to give you a free copy of your credit report at your request, once every 12 months.  To order your report, visit or call 1-977-322-8228.”

For additional information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students to contact the three nationwide credit reporting agencies to obtain free copy of their credit report.
  • Prepare a list of protections provided under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Discussion Questions

  1. What other rights do women have when they apply for credit?
  2. Where can women complain if their credit application is rejected because of sex or marital status?
Categories: Chapter 5, Credit Scores | Tags: | Leave a comment

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