Holly McCall of Vienna, Va., hopes petitions help alter law that affects stay-at-home parents

5:49 PM, May 15, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Stay-at-home moms took to the street Tuesday to fight a federal law they say sets women's rights back 50 years.

They call it an unintended consequence of the CARD Act, which went into effect last October. The law was intended to stop credit card companies from going after college-age students, but it also makes it harder for stay-at-home parents to get a credit card without their working spouses' permission.

"As a mother who has chosen to be home with her children, it is demeaning and devaluing that I can't get my own credit card without my husband's permission," said Holly McCall, a stay-at-home Mom in Vienna.

McCall says she has a nearly perfect credit score and a high household income. Yet her application for a Target credit card was denied. The problem? McCall says the application only asked for her individual income, not her household income.

"What the CARD Act did was it required credit card companies to look at an individual's income in their own name, rather than their households income. That is a big change," said Ashley Boyd with momsrising.org. "We think that the rule has been unfairly broadly interpreted to include all individuals, not just young adults."

So McCall and Boyd started a petition to try to fix the law they call unfair. They've collected more than 33,000 signatures and on Tuesday, they dropped them off at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"They accepted the petitions and gave us every indication that they are intending to look into this issue," said McCall.

Just in case, they left behind a few mock, 50s-era fliers that read, "It's 2012 and I have to ask your father's permission to get a gosh darn credit card?"

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