Women Pay More For Their Credit Cards Than Men Do
9:45 am, April 24th | by Amy Tennery
While women have the reputation for being better, more cautious investors, a report shows that our financial prudence might not extend to our behavior with credit cards. Oh dear.
A new study from the FINRA Foundation shows that women are shelling out more cash for their credit cards in virtually every imaginable way. And while this report is comforting in a “hey I’m not totally alone here” kind of way (although I don’t know who would ever need that kind of reinforcement… nope, not at all), it also suggests that we kind of need to get our collective act together.
For starters, women pay an average half a point more on interest rates than guys do. And it only goes downhill from there. Women (and this is across all income levels, educational backgrounds and so on) are 5 percent more likely to carry a credit card balance, 4 percent more likely to pay only the minimum payment and 6 percent more likely to incur late fees on a regular basis. In short, we’re getting grifted by ourselves.
That being said, it’s not like women are making all the bad choices. The FINRA report also showed that men with lower levels of financial literacy are more likely to engage in “problematic credit card behaviors” (of course “problematic” is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?). But women — perhaps because we make the majority of the household purchases — tend to struggle more with unnecessary charges.
Of course, there is a way out: Stop being stupid.
“The gender gap for costly credit card behaviors disappears for women with high levels of financial literacy,” FINRA President Gerri Walsh noted.
No one said it was going to be fun, did they?