Women are better than men when it comes to credit and financial management, a new study by Experian finds. Women have higher credit scores, less debt, more open credit cards and fewer late payments.
“Even with more credit cards, women have fewer overall debts and are managing to pay those debts on time,” Michele Raneri, Experian’s vice president of analytics and new business development, said in an email. “Men appear to be taking on a bit more than women, specifically when it comes to the homes and cars they buy, which could be affecting their credit scores.”
The study by one of the three major credit score bureaus noted six key areas in which women outperform men:
- Credit scores: The average score for women was 675 compared with 670 for men.
- Average debt: Women have 3.7 percent less.
- Number of open credit cards: Women have 23.5 percent more.
- Revolving credit: Women’s use of available credit was 4.2 percent lower.
- Average mortgage amount: Women’s loan amount was 7.9 percent less.
- Late mortgage payments: Women had an 8.1 percent lower incidence of late payments.
“Paying your bills on time is the single most important contributor to good credit,” Raneri said. “While the instances of late payments are relatively low for both men and women, it’s important to understand that late payments negatively affect your ability to get credit since they indicate a stronger likelihood that you will make late payments again or will be unable to pay your debts in the future.”
Experian’s findings may not come as a surprise. Several previous studies have found women to be better budget minders than men, and that both sexes generally agree on that.
A 2009 global Reuters Synovate survey of more than 9,000 men and women in 12 countries found that women are more responsible with their money, less likely to get in debt and work harder to become financially independent. More than half the respondents of both genders agreed women are more responsible.
“Looking closer at our data … we see that women working full time in the United States earn approximately 23 percent less income than men, but that women are taking steps to manage their finances better than men,” Raneri said in comments with a similar 2013 report by Experian.
Minnesota was the state the highest credit scores for both men and women, 703 and 710 respectively. Nevada had the lowest average credit scores for men, 645, and Mississipi had the lowest average credit scores for women, 640, according to the latest report.
The study was conducted using 750,000 consumers from Experian’s December 2015 consumer credit database, which represents a wide spectrum of ages and backgrounds.