Home > 2016 > Credit Score

Who Has Better Credit — Men or Women?

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 1 Comment

It’s a statistic you’ve heard a lot: Women only earn about 79 cents for every dollar men make. But even though men make more money, they’re not necessarily managing it better than women do. On average, men have more debt than women, according to a recent analysis from credit bureau Experian.

They also have lower average credit scores.

Income has no direct impact on your credit standing — it’s generally not reported to the major credit reporting agencies and as a result is not factored into credit scores. But there’s no denying that having more money can make it easier to avoid things that can damage your credit, like high credit card balances, missed loan payments or collection accounts. Despite their statistical income advantage, men have an average credit score of 670, while women average a 675 score. (That’s on the VantageScore scale of 300 to 850.) They also carry an average of 3.7% more debt than women: $27,627 to women’s $26,610.

Performance Review

When you look at the most important factors of credit scores — payment history and how much a person uses of their available credit — women outperform men, the Experian data show. Even though women have more credit cards (an average of 3.7 cards versus men’s 3-card average), they seem to manage their credit card debt better. Men use an average of 27.3% of their available credit, while women use an average of 26.2%. A good rule of thumb is to use less than 30% of your available credit, but for best credit scoring results, it’s ideal to use less than 10%.

As far as late payments go, the Experian analysis focuses on mortgage payments. Men paid their mortgages late 8.1% more often than women did. A single late payment can significantly knock down your credit score — especially if you have a high one to begin with — so men’s lower credit scores make a lot of sense given their greater tendency to fall behind on mortgage payments.

You can see your credit utilization rate and how it affects your credit score, as well as your late payment history, by getting a free credit report summary, updated monthly, on Credit.com. Even if you have a history of bad-credit behaviors like high credit card balances and missed payments, you can use the information in your credit report summary to see where you need to change your habits so you can improve your credit.

More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:

Image: eternalcreative

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • BillW

    This is exactly how poor or improper data analysis leads to bad conclusions and misinformation. This is a case where the absolute numbers are irrelevant. Only the relative numbers matter. There’s only about a 1/10% difference in the average score and less than 1/2% difference in average debt yet you identify a 20% difference in income! Statistically that translates as women being 20% worse than men at debt management! Get your facts straight.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team