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News: Women Score a Win When it Comes to Credit -

If you thought there might be a divide between how men and women are making financial decisions like handling money and managing credit and debt you are on the money, with women coming out on top when in comes to everything from the health of their credit scores to how much debt they are carrying, according to a new study by Experian.

Women averaged higher credit scores, leading by five points, had less debt and they mortgage loans were less. For this study Experian looked at a wide range of information, including amount of open credit cards, credit scores, average debt, and credit utilization ratios. But they also looked at mortgage amounts and the number of mortgage delinquencies by both men and women, finding some real disparities in behavior.

"There were several gaps between men and women in this study including the five-point credit score lead that the women hold. Even with more credit cards, women have fewer overall debts and are managing to pay those debts on time," said Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and new business development, Experian. "Men appear to be taking on a bit more than women, specifically when it comes to the homes and the cars they buy, which could be affecting their credit scores."

Women and their credit profiles

Let's talk about credit scores. Women averaged a credit score of 675, while men clocked in with 670. When the study looked at debt levels, they found that men are taking on more debt that women. In fact, women had 3.7% less debt then men. On the other hand, women had more open credit cards (23% more), but their utilization was lower coming in at 4.2%.

When they looked at mortgages they found that women were more prudent when it came to taking out loans for a home, taking out 7.9% less than their counterparts. And they had fewer late payments (8.9% less).

What about cars?

Experian also looked at what kind of cars respondents had, not in terms of taste or style, but to see how their preferences play into their financial health. So what did they find out? Women choose function over style, going for cars that can keep going for the long haul while men go for sports cars and trucks.

When delving into the details they found that men look for mid-sized pickup, large pickup and standard specialty cars, and are 1.37 times more likely to buy the mid-size pickup truck they have been eyeing than the population at large.

On the other hand, women are willing to shell out their money to buy smaller crossover-utility vehicles, mid-size sports-utility and compact crossover-utility cars. And they are 1.4 times more likely to go for the small crossover-utility vehicle than the rest of the population.