Did you miss Women’s Equality Day a few weeks ago? (Hint: It was Aug. 26, this year). Don’t feel bad; instead, look forward and consider the ways you can help yourself, or the women in your life, find equal footing in their credit lives before the big day rolls around in 2012.
The basics of good credit aren’t affected by one’s sex. But there are some credit factors that can be of specific interest to women. Here are just a few credit tips for women:
Marriage and credit
Getting married is supposed to be a gal’s dream come true, and for many of us it is. But wedded bliss can morph into credit nightmares if a couple completely merges all their credit accounts. They’ll have a healthier financial life together if they take steps to maintain their individual good credit scores, like keeping their own separate credit cards and auto loans.
Stay-at-home moms especially can be at risk if they rely on their husbands to be the sole representative of the family’s creditworthiness. Sadly, marriages do end, whether by divorce or death, and a wife who has little or no individual credit history will face tough financial challenges. One of the most important credit tips for women: Make a point of keeping some credit accounts separate so you can maintain your own credit score and history.
Employment and credit
For the first time in American history, women are a significant portion of the workforce. But with unemployment rates across the country still high, competition is fiercer than ever for jobs.
Many employers are now demanding job applicants demonstrate the ability to appropriately manage credit. Sixty percent of employers now check job applicants’ credit reports, according to The Washington Times. Just 42 percent did that five years ago, the Times reported.
With more women than ever playing important roles in the financial support of their families, a good credit score can make the difference in landing a job that helps pay the bills. Another vital credit tip for women: Stay on top of your credit score when job hunting.