Women More Likely to Rack Up Debt, Consolidated Study Shows

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla–Single women are more likely than their male counterparts to incur credit card debt, according to a new analysis conducted by Consolidated Credit.

The examination of records of more than 60,000 Consolidated Credit clients nationwide revealed a pattern: single women are more likely than single men to carry credit card debt. According to Consolidated Credit’s records, 70 percent of the calls received in the last six months are from women seeking credit card help.

One of the reasons for higher debt among women is gender pay gap.

Even though women have made great strides equalizing pay disparity, men still receive higher salaries in most occupations. Women earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2010, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

In order to make ends meet, women have to stretch their paychecks much more than men, incurring credit card debt quite often. Women who work as personal financial advisers, retail salespersons, insurance sales agents, and lawyers earn lower salaries than men in the same fields, according to the BLS.

Despite receiving lower salaries, single women tend to spend more much more than men on housing, personal care, drinks, food and clothing. For instance, single women spend 39.8 of their income on housing, while men spend 30.3 percent. When it comes to personal care single men spend 3.9 and single women 7.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Consolidated Credit has the following advice for women in debt:

Negotiate salary: Women earn less than men in almost every industry, including highly paid professions like doctors and lawyers. Before going to a job interview, women should research pay rates for the type of work they intend to do. Salary.com could be a great resource for single women looking to advance in their careers. Also, women need to find out if their employers offer tuition reimbursements and take the required classes to get promoted.

Pay off one debt at a time: Women should make the minimum payments on all credit cards and put the extra cash towards one debt. To select the debt they want to tackle first, women should look at the one that has the highest interest rate (APR). The idea is to get rid of the debt that is growing fastest and start paying it off! Once the highest interest rate credit card is paid off, it’s time to tackle the next high interest rate debt, and so on.

Invest in the market: Men are more likely to invest than women, but different studies show women make better investors than men. Joining an investment club with other women could be a great start. It is inexpensive to get started, and it helps single women make better decisions about their retirement funds.

Get credit in shape: Often single women rack up debt as a result of not checking their credit reports. Women should check their credit reports at least once every year and correct errors if necessary. To obtain a free credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com

Total up all monthly expenses: One of the most common problems people run into when calculating their monthly expenses is forgetting about the little things. It’s important to include hair appointments, gym memberships and morning coffee costs in monthly budgets. It’s also crucial to add in seasonal costs, such as holidays, birthdays and even vehicle registration.

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