Women flexing their financial muscles; women’s credit is in better shape than men’s credit according to Experian

Published: May 22, 2013 by Editor

When it comes to credit, who is winning the battle between men and women? The latest credit trends study, released today from global information services company Experian, compares the financial differences between men and women, revealing that, overall, women are better at managing their money and debt.

For the first time, Experian® analyzed credit scores, average debt, utilization ratios, mortgage amounts and mortgage delinquencies of men and women in the United States. While the national credit scores only vary slightly — with a one point difference — other differences between the population of men and women include the following:

  • Men have 4.3 percent more debt than women
  • Men have a 2 percent higher credit utilization amount
  • Mortgage loan amounts for men are 4.9 percent higher
  • Men have a higher incidence of late mortgage payments by 7 percent

Below is a top-line look at how men and women fared when compared with each other:

“When looking closer at our data and cross-referencing it with other data sources, we see that women working full-time in the United States earn approximately 23 percent less income3 than men but that women are taking steps to manage their finances better than men,” said Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics, Experian. “The most notable difference is that men are taking bigger individual mortgage loans than women, but it would appear that they are having a slightly more difficult time making those payments on time.”

Mortgage insights
Some of the most compelling differences in the study were found in the mortgage category.
On average, 72 percent of consumers have joint mortgages (a home loan given to more than one party) and the remaining number represents men and women who borrowed on an individual/independent basis. The data reveals that throughout the United States, men have 18.3 percent more independent mortgages than women, with one exception: Women in Washington, D.C., take out 33 percent more loans than men.

See below for a closer look at the states with most and least independent mortgages by gender.

With men having more individual mortgages and higher loan amounts when compared with women, where are the most interesting trends when it comes to their loans and financial health?

  • The most significant difference at the state level is in Connecticut, where the average man has a mortgage loan of $229,510 and the average for women is $175,276, creating a gap of 24 percent between them. Men in Connecticut also have late payments 13.6 percent more often than women, carry an average debt that is 8.6 percent higher and have a 5.6 percent higher utilization amount than women.
  • Florida stands out in the study, as the men and women in the Sunshine State both have some financial strain, but women still maintain a better financial picture on average. West Palm Beach, Fla. — Men have 24 percent higher mortgage amounts than women, and their occurrences of late payments on them are 17.5 percent higher than women. Miami, Fla. — Both sexes are struggling to pay their mortgages on time, with men’s occurrences of late payments at 13.1 percent and women’s at 12.7 percent, with a difference of only 2.8 percent between the two. The women in Miami, though, have a 6.9 percent lower average debt than men, which indicates they are approaching their debts better.

“Seeing the divide between how men and women approach credit is interesting, but what’s most important is understanding the value of building a good credit history. How you manage credit and debt is critical to your financial well-being,” said Maxine Sweet, Experian vice president of public education. “Paying attention to what’s in your credit report, never missing a payment, and keeping your utilization rates low are three key steps to financial success.”

Additional data resources

  • More details from the analysis — including an infographic and statistics for more than 100 U.S. cities and states — are available at Experian’s LiveCreditSmart.com.
  • Experian is sponsoring a TweetChat with @Wisebread on May 23 at 3 p.m. Eastern time focused on the credit differences between men and women. Register at wisebread.com and follow #wbchat.
  • Experian hosts a #CreditChat on Twitter every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time with consumer credit experts Maxine Sweet and Rod Griffin. Follow @Experian_US to join in.

Analysis methodology
The analysis is based on a statistically relevant, sampling of depersonalized data of Experian’s consumer credit database from December 2012. Gender information was obtained from Experian Marketing Services.

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