Card, who had a hand in drafting the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act, displays expert knowledge of the history of credit and women's problems in obtaining credit--yet gets so bogged down decrying discrimination that the reader finds the gold card only at the end of the book. (The volume appears geared, indeed, to a course in feminist issues--or women's finance--rather than to the individual credit-seeker. The chapters even close with exercises.) First comes a two-chapter reprise of modern credit and lender discrimination, based on sex or marital status. There follows (Part II) a review of the provisions of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and of general consumer credit protection laws. Part III, ""Getting Credit,"" then summarizes the foregoing in applicable form. Card starts with five steps to establish credit and six basic questions you can use to understand the type of credit account. She provides instructive information about credit ratings, how to survive a credit crisis, how to use credit to leverage your money, and (credit almost apart) how to prioritize your bill-paying. Though some examples tend toward the ideal/idyllic (Melissa, age 29, earned $45,000 annually but couldn't afford a house; as part of a new job package, she persuaded her employer to be her partner), the last four chapters are genuinely useful--by contrast with the preceding, credit-discrimination problems and solutions (which sometimes consist of ""Tell them what the law says"").