When could women get credit cards?

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    Jordan Moore
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    #32515
    Jordan Moore
    Keymaster

    Women weren’t allowed to have their own credit cards (in their name without a man cosigning for them) until 1974 — that’s just 50 years ago. 

    While women at that time earned their own money, managed budgets, and contributed to household finances, credit was still off-limits to them. 

    If a woman had a husband, he needed to cosign for her to get a credit card, and if she wasn’t married then a male relative, like a dad or brother, needed to sign for her. This stripped women of their independence in the credit space, forcing them to rely on another person, specifically a man, for their credit needs. 

    Even if they were able to get credit and had a solid job and income, creditors tended to lowball them.

    This legally changed in 1974 with the passing of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act which made it illegal to discriminate against any applicant based on gender, race, religion, national origin, age, or marital status. 

    Not only could women have credit cards, but it meant they had a real way of building a credit history, investing, and making large purchases (like a house) on their own.

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