Guest Author - Sharon Michaels
Many women still don’t have credit in their own name. Today, a credit history is important for everything from getting revolving credit to getting a job. Here are a few “facts” you should know about obtaining and maintaining credit in your own name.
Financial advisors highly recommend that women gain and maintain their own credit identity. That doesn’t mean not having joint accounts with your spouse or others, it means also having your own “stand alone” credit identity. Single women should establish and maintain their own credit, even after they marry. Married women should establish credit in their own name even while being married. Some advisors go so far as to advise married women to have as few ties to their husbands credit as possible.
Here are a few facts you should know:
* The United States in 1976 established what is known as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It assures that women are not denied credit because they are women or have not established credit in their own name.
* Being an authorized user on a credit card is not the same thing as establishing credit in your name. If something were to happen to the credit card holder, you would not be able to continue to use the card – even if you are the one making the payments. Basically, you have permission to use the account but have no legal responsibility for it. So really, this type of account has to no value to you if you are trying to establish credit in your name.
* Joint user status on a credit card means both parties are legally responsible for the credit. The good news, you are both establishing a credit history. The bad news, if the other person has poor credit or decides to no longer pay on the account, you will be linked to their credit history as well.
* Individual credit means you are establishing your own individual credit history separate from anyone else, no matter your marital status.
Details of how credit rights and marital property rights affect you within your particular state, you should contact your state’s attorney general office for details.
If you’re looking for money management information here are a couple suggestions:
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has a course called the “Women’s Financial Information Program” which is especially designed for middle aged and senior women. You can go to their website for details www.AARP.com
Your local YWCA, continuing education programs in your local school district and community colleges often have inexpensive courses, seminars or workshops on money management.
**Please check with a financial professional before making financial decisions. This article is not intended as investment or financial planning advice.**
I recommend David Bach’s Smart Women Finish Rich because there is an entire section on choosing and working with a financial advisor. I've included a link to Amazon.com: Smart Women Finish Rich
Please take a few minutes to visit my website www.SharonMichaels.com for more empowering suggestions, tools and tips and to sign up for my "Unlimited Success" free monthly newsletter.