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Men vs. Women: Who Wins the Credit Game?

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It’s the “Battle of the Sexes” credit edition. Who sports higher scores, less debt and more on-time payments? According to Experian’s latest analysis, women take the credit title. Thank you very much.

The report analyzed multiple categories including credit scores, average debt, number of open credit cards, utilization ratios, mortgage amounts and mortgage delinquencies of men and women in the United States.

Results revealed:

  • Women’s average credit score of 675 compared to men’s score of 670
  • Women have 3.7 percent less average debt than men
  • Women have 23.5 percent more open credit cards
  • Women and men have the same revolving utilization ratio of 29.9 percent
  • Women’s average mortgage loan amount is 7.9 percent less than men’s
  • Women have a lower incidence of late mortgage payments by 8.1 percent

“There were several gaps between men and women in this study, including the five-point credit score lead that the women hold,” said Michele Raneri, Experian’s Vice President of Analytics and New Business Development. “Even with more credit cards, women have fewer overall debts and are managing to pay those debts on time.”

The report also takes a look at the vehicle preferences of men and women and how those choices play into their overall credit and financial health. Below are the top-line results:

  • Women were more likely to purchase a more functional, utilitarian vehicle, while men tended to lean toward sports cars and trucks
    • The top three vehicle segments men purchased in 2015 were mid-size pickup trucks, large pickup trucks and standard specialty cars. In fact, they were 1.37 times more likely to purchase a mid-sized pickup truck than the general population
    • The top three vehicle segments for women were small crossover-utility vehicles, mid-size sports-utility vehicles and compact crossover-utility vehicles. Women were 1.40 times more likely to purchase the small crossover-utility vehicle than the general population

Experian conducted a similar study, comparing men and women on various credit attributes in 2013. At that time, women also scored higher than men in the credit score category – holding steady with a 675 VantageScore compared to the men’s 674 VantageScore, but the gap has widened, with the men’s score further lowering to 670.

While men’s scores have dropped since 2013, the overall financial health for both sexes is strong. Most notably, the mortgage 60-plus delinquency rate has dropped significantly. In the 2013 pull, men were tracking at 5.7 percent and women were 5.3 percent. Today, those numbers have dropped to .86 percent for men and .79 percent for women. What a difference a few years has made in regards to the recovering housing market.

Time will tell if the country’s state of credit will continue to trend higher, as indicated in the 2015 annual report, or if the buzz of potential recession and an election year will reverse the positive trend.

As for now, the women once again claim bragging rights as it pertains to credit.

Analysis methodology

The analysis is based on a statistically relevant, sampling of depersonalized data of Experian’s consumer credit database from December 2015. Gender information was obtained from Experian Marketing Services.