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Female consumers could present lower risk for lenders

Jun 10, 2013 Walt Wojciechowski

Female consumers in America may be more financially responsible than their male counterparts, which may mean that they represent a lower risk for short term lenders and other loan providers.

According to a study conducted by Experian, women tend to have higher consumer credit scores than men and also have less outstanding debt. The source notes that the average credit score for an American woman is 675, one point higher than that for males. Also, females in the United States have $1,132 less debt than the average male.

Although the credit scores are relatively similar, experts with Experian noted that the trend is surprising given that wages are sometimes lower for women than they are for men.

"When looking closer at our data and cross-referencing it with other data sources, we see that women working full-time in the United States earn approximately 23 percent less income than men, but that women are taking steps to manage their finances better than men," said Michele Raneri , a senior official with Experian.

Although females may be more frugal than males in the U.S., lenders should not use the information provided by Experian to dictate loan application decisions. Doing so could be deemed illegal under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

The ECOA prohibits discrimination by lenders and credit providers based on sex, race, religion, nationality and other categories.