Disturbing Study Finds that Women Pay More for Credit Cards Than Men
An interesting new study discovered that women tend to pay more for their credit cards than men do, and the disparity is often fairly substantial, according to a recent report from ABC News.
The difference has been noted before by other researchers, but the trend shows little sign of stopping, and some believe that the disparity even grew worse during the recent recession.
The study did not mention whether women tend to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy at a higher rate than men, but this would come as little surprise because Chapter 7 is one of the most powerful methods of credit card debt relief.
Women Pay More for Credit Cards Than Their Male Counterparts
According to a recent study administered by the FINRA Foundation, women routinely pay more for credit cards than men, and women also have more difficulty in paying off their credit debts:
- Credit card balances. The study discovered that women are five percentage points more likely than men to carry a credit card balance. And the researchers accounted for differences in income level and education when making these conclusions.
- Paying Late fees. In addition, women are six percent more likely than men to be charged a late fee after failing to make a payment on time.
- Making minimum payments. Despite researcher’s discovery than men and women have the same levels of financial literacy, women were still four percent more likely to only make the minimum payment on their credit cards, which, if done over an extended period of time, can cause high levels of credit card debt and eventually lead to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Reasons for the Credit Card Disparity
Because the researchers accounted for differences in education and income, experts are somewhat flummoxed by the results of the study.
The results tend to support the stereotype that women shop more than men, but this isn’t necessarily true, nor does it fully explain the disparity in factors like women’s increased likelihood of being charged late fees.
In fact, the differences may reveal subtle, but profound, cultural biases in the ways that credit card companies deal with male and female customers.
Of course, women should not be overly discouraged. The president of the FINRA Foundation, Gerri Walsh said that “having a high level of financial appears to pay off,” suggesting that women who play closer attention to their finances can beat the trend.
In Walsh’s words, “[b]ecoming more financially literate is a great step that any woman can take to keep more of her hard-earned money in her pocket.”