Legal Guide

Home > Legal Guide

Women Signing Their Own Loan Application Now Is An Historic Event

If you go by the history of money lending which is along chapter needing a volume of pages to describe, you will see that women seldom had any access to finance since time immemorial. Over the years this shackle has been broken and money lenders, both private and government, have become more liberal. Fortunately, now women do not need a male co-signor anymore and can sign for their own loan applications, whether it is for business purpose or for any personal reasons.

It is been 25 years since women needed a male co-signer and though it may not be celebrated with the fanfare but still this is an historic event. It is all due to the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 which is a landmark legislation that has put an end to state laws among other things requiring women to have a male relative to sign on their loan applications.

The instrumental role played in this aspect is by the National Association of Women Business Owners. They got the then-President Ronald Reagan to sign the law that ushered in an unprecedented transformation in the development of financial access of women especially in enterprise development.

A number of barriers to women were addressed at that time when the law was established by the National Women’s Business Council. This is a bipartisan advisory panel to the president and Congress regarding all economic issues including empowering women business owners.

The Women’s Business Centers must also be credited for such historic transformation which is a national network of centers that helps women in starting and running a business. The legislation provided women entrepreneurs with capital, technical assistance and education and also extended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This is the most significant tool that protected the women against any discriminatory practices in money lending that is however removed in these modern times. If you are interested in knowing women’ right and obligation while taking a loan you can learn more at our site

The challenges faced

Just about a couple of decades back women faced a lot of challenges to have a clear and proper access to money to finance their business and personal needs. However, these challenges were overcome by them through NAWBO leadership that helped the House Small Business Committee to organize a hearing on the projected legislation.

  • Women then who did not have a husband or a father even had to ask their son to sign as a co-signor for their loan application regardless of the fact that the son was yet to attain his right to vote. The most common perception about women at that time especially for those who wanted to start a business was that they were fit only for micro-enterprises such as macramé businesses and candle making.
  • In order to deal with such challenges and wrong perceptions, NAWBO advocated that the government should collect data on these firms owned by women regardless of it being a sole proprietorship or a large business corporation. When done, all these statistics and data turned out to be myth busting.

It opened the eyes and the gaps were clearly measurable. As a result, there is a significant growth in the number of women-owned firms today and it is growing significantly all over the world.

The contents of the law

The most complex and sophisticated yet interesting studies in economics of gender till date is women, money and the law. Close studies of the literature of the court documents however showed a few expected as well as utterly surprising ways of understanding the financial circumstances of women in the 19th century.

You may tend to think that the women of the 19th century may have money of their own.

  • To know this clearly you will need to look at the private and public stories of individual women. With reference to the then prevailing culture, legal aspects and traditions are assessed to know about how this scenario affected the lives of the women then.
  • Most importantly, class and racial differences must be analyzed to understand the economic matters in which women were involved.

However, as uncovered from the vast and untapped archive of legal documents that has been expunged from official records showed lives and works of women in the 19th century.

  • It showed that women then had a significant and convincing involvement with money.
  • In spite of the most egregious gender restrictions as imposed by the law and custom, evidences showed that 19th century women lived more independently.
  • They dealt with their economic and legal restraints of their culture effectively and efficiently to make money for them as well as their families.
  • They were courageous enough to manage their lives and money with more tenacity. This helped them to split constructed gender identities.
  • They were able to portray through their lived experience the importance of money in the lives of a woman.

All this is portrayed through different stories written by different writers who did not publicly encouraged economic independence of women but supported them and their families successfully throughout their writing careers.

There were women from all backgrounds such as the defeated ones due to ignorance and placidity and the callous and ruthless ones as well that formed the major part of the money economy.

All these facts and figures together countered the official narrative that scripted women as financially uninvolved and economically dependent.

Rise to contemporary assumptions

These counter narratives and illustrations gave rise to the contemporary assumptions about the lives of women, then and now. That time it was hard to even imagine women to apply or have a credit card but now women own, use and even pay more towards their credit card bills.

Now you do not have to face a barrage of questions when you apply for a credit card or a loan. You do not need to bring a man to cosign on your application and your wages will not be discounted by 50 percent to calculate the credit limits. The result of all these is a winning situation for the money lending market.

comments powered by Disqus