American Women Tend to Have Better Credit Scores, According to Report

While the age-old misconception states that women love to shop, they tend to spend money a bit more wisely.

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The average U.S. woman has a better credit score than her male counterpart — with an average of four points more, according to the Experian annual “State of Credit” report. In 2008, women had an average score of 689, compared to men’s average of 685. A decade of economic downturn lowered these scores to 684 for women and 680 for men. While women have better scores, men have fewer credit cards.

“There were several gaps between men and women in this study, including the five-point credit score lead that the women hold,” said Michele Raneri, Experian’s Vice President of Analytics and New Business Development in a blog post. “Even with more credit cards, women have fewer overall debts and are managing to pay those debts on time.”

Experian found in a 2016 study that women were more likely to purchase more functional vehicles compared to men who purchased more trucks and sports cars.

The average number of credit cards an American woman had in 2018 was 3.13, compared to 2.98 for men. While women have more cards, they have less debt than men. The average credit card debt an American woman had in 2018 was $6,452, compared to $6,752 for men.

“Today, the nation’s average credit score is 680 — five points higher than the 2017 average of 675,” the report suggests. “The average number of credit cards for consumers decreased slightly year-over-year to 3.04 (compared with 3.06 in 2017), while credit card balances increased $152 to $6,506.”

Women Better Credit Score Than Men
When looking at how the financial downturn impacted the credit card behaviors of males and females, Experian’s State of Credit report revealed this. – Credit: experianplc.com

According to the report, the states with the highest average credit score for 2018 were Minnesota, South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The average score was 703 or more for the top-ranking states. The lowest average credit score states were Mississippi, Louisiana, Nevada, Georgia and Texas with an average score below 659.
Women who live in Minnesota had the highest average credit score at 719, while women in Mississippi had the lowest average credit score at 654. Men who lived in Minnesota also had the highest average credit score at 713, while Louisiana men had the lowest average credit score at 655.

“With this annual report, our goal is to provide insights that help consumers make more informed decisions about credit use to change their financial habits and improve financial access,” said Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education for Experian. “Understanding the factors that influence their overall credit profile can help consumers lead financially empowered lives.”