Debt More Likely to Gobble-Up Career-Oriented Women More than Men

Consolidated Credit discusses the financial challenges women face when starting their careers.

Women trying to build their careers are more likely than their male counterparts to incur credit card debt, according to a new analysis done by Consolidated Credit, the nation’s foremost national debt counseling organization.

The examination of the financial records of more than 60,000 Consolidated Credit clients nationwide revealed a pattern: that single women 25-34 seek credit help in greater numbers than single men in the same demographic group. A further look at the records shows that one of the reasons for the disparity is the amount women spend on clothing and personal care items.

But there may be good reason why women are struggling more. Men starting out can get away with a smaller and less costly wardrobe. Women simply need more to climb the corporate ladder. There are certain expenses that can be shared, such as household expenses, but a woman needs her own wardrobe. In addition, there may be another reason for greater female debt — namely, that women still earn less than men.”

Government surveys bear this out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average young single man spends $1,426 annually on clothes and another $234 on personal care items. Single young women, however, spend an average of $1,763 on clothing annually and $740 on personal care products, while making nearly $3,000 less each year.

According to the United States BLS, although women have made great strides equalizing pay disparity, the average woman earned 77% of what men earned in 2008, up from 57% in 1979. The upside for women is that male-dominated jobs have been hit hardest by the recession, and women have a lower unemployment rate. As of September 2009, men have a 10.3% unemployment rate compared to women who are at 7.3%.

Consolidated Credit is offering a free education publication titled Women and Money which is a short guide to the factors women should consider regarding money matters.

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