Photo: Flickr via richardchild
As if men needed any other reason to gloat about their superior finance skills, FINRA’s Investor Education Foundation just called women out for their less-than-stellar credit behaviour.In a study of 28,000 adults, it turned out ladies get stuck paying higher interest rates for one main reason: They’re more likely than men to run up their cards, apply for high-interest retail cards, carry balances and get slapped with fees.
In contrast, men were six per cent more likely to pay their balances in full each month and shop around for credit cards with the best terms (the very same reason women get stuck with worse mortgage rates, too).
But here’s some food for thought, as pointed out by CreditCard.com’s Aundraya Ruse: “Among the respondents who had a high level of financial literacy, gender played no role in credit behaviour.”
That fact alone begs all sorts of questions about the quality of financial education for men and women in the U.S. – one of the most talked about barriers in finance.
In a separate study, George Washington University economist Annamaria Lusardi found women are less likely to answer financial literacy and maths questions correctly and lack confidence in their decision-making.
It’s facts like these that spurred LearnVest founder Alexa Von Tobel to launch her site, which specialises in empowering women to take charge of their finances.
“For women, having a high level of financial literacy appears to pay off,” FINRA President Gerri Walsh told Ruse. “The gender gap for costly credit card behaviours disappears for women with high levels of financial literacy, and after controlling for demographic characteristics like age and income. Becoming more financially literate is a great step that any woman can take to keep more of her hard-earned money in her pocket.”
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