When it comes to managing credit, American women have a slight edge over men, according to a study of credit reports by the credit report agency Experian.
Experian looked at 750,000 credit reports, a sample of what it collected nationwide, and found that while women earn 23pc less than men, they know how to handle debt.
"When you start from there, you recognise that women have less money to spend," says Michele Raneri, Experian's vice president of analytics. "And their delinquencies are less."
When it comes to credit scores, women are in front by a tiny margin. Women averaged a credit score of 675 compared with the male average of 674, according to Experian's data.
"In terms of having a stereotype, they may spend and shop, but women also pay their bills well," Ms Raneri said yesterday. "They are doing more with less."
Experian found that men have 4.3pc more debt than women. Men have a 2pc higher credit utilisation rate along with mortgage loans that are 4.9pc higher. More men also hold mortgages that are least 60 days past due.
The average man in the study's sample carried $26,227 in debt compared with $25,095 for women. That figure includes consumer debt such as credit cards and auto loans, for example, but excludes mortgage debt.
The average mortgage held by a man is $187,245 compared with $178,140 for a woman. About 72pc of all mortgages are held jointly, Experian found, so the analysis looked at the other 28pc (just over half of them are held by men).