Read this article real quick about an angry mom who was denied a Target credit card (seriously, it’s a quick, easy read) and we’ll start from the same vantage point.
Let me start by saying that I am a (mostly) stay-at-home mom. I work about 6.5 hours/week outside of the home and maybe 2 hours/week from my couch. I do this for many reasons, none of which have anything to do with this post, but I enjoy my job and am thankful for it.
That being said…
SAHMs need to GET OVER IT. We all know that the work we do within our home (or at the park or while homeschooling or while nursing your child until grade school) is extremely important. We all know that we are often labeled many things that are untrue by choosing to stay home. We all know that we are not paid financially by doing so (though I won’t go into all the flexibility, extra time with kids, etc. we get by doing so).
DEAL. WITH. IT. Or change your status.
I have steamed over the women in this article for an inappropriate amount of time since reading it yesterday afternoon. I was seriously so irritated that so many smart women would not be able to understand that “Just because I don’t get a direct paycheck for [my work], doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile work that I’m doing” has nothing, I repeat NOTHING, to do with getting approved for a credit card.
Let’s take a minute and step back, quickly, for a little lesson in corporate finance: If I lend you money, it’s because I expect you to be able to pay it back. Let me repeat that: It’s because I expect you to be able to pay it back. Now, if you don’t make any money, I will likely not lend you money because you won’t be able to pay it back. Makes sense, yes?
It doesn’t matter if you are homeless or the best SAHM who has ever walked the planet. Your self-worth adds nothing to the equation or my decision to grant you credit. In both cases, you don’t make any money and therefore have no ability, on your own, to repay a loan (which is effectively what a credit card is).
I understand the need to feel like your job is important, worthwhile, and seriously valued. But that isn’t the purpose of a credit card. And a credit card company should not lend you money if you don’t have an income.
“It’s about fair and equal access to credit,” you say? You’re right! You couldn’t be any more correct! Access to credit is dependent upon your ability to REPAY. I go back to the previous two scenarios: a homeless person and a SAHM, both with equal income of $0, will get fair and equal access to credit. It has NOTHING to do with who you are. As it shouldn’t.
As women, we need to fight for things that matter. We don’t need to join the mommy wars of working vs. nonworking, breast vs. bottle, co-sleeping vs. no co-sleeping, let the list go on. We need to be smart, fully capable women who can manage our family’s finances as well as the 14 kids running through the yard. We need to understand that our emotions, which women are so well known for, play no role in whether or not we should be approved for a credit card.
Because that’s what is happening: at some point, we’ve felt demeaned, under-appreciated, laughed at by the media who can so quickly turn us on each other. And we’ve run the wrong way with the emotions that those things bring. We fight against credit card companies for being denied a Target credit card because our SAHM job is “worth” something? I mean, really? Have you read THIS blog post?
Have your husband co-sign the damn application and move on. Or get a job. It’s that easy.