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Study: Women Own Less Mortgage Debt, Less Likely to Be Delinquent

Although data shows women generally earn less income than men, results from a recent ""Experian"":http://www.experian.com/ study found women come out ahead when comparing how mortgage debt is managed.

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According to the study, men were more likely to have a higher mortgage loan amount compared to women, but men were also more likely to be delinquent by 60 days or more.

""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, VP of analytics at Experian. ""The most notable difference is that men are taking bigger individual mortgage loans than women, but it would appear that they are having a slightly more difficult time making those payments on time.""

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Experian found the mortgage origination amount for men was $187,245, which is 4.9 percent higher compared to the amount for women. At the same time, 5.7 percent of men were delinquent on their mortgage compared to 5.3 percent of women.

The study also highlighted interesting findings in Florida. In West Palm Beach, men have 24 percent higher mortgage amounts than women, and occurrences of late payments for men are also 17.5 percent higher than women. In Miami, mortgage debt for women is 6.9 percent lower compared to men, and again, men were more likely to fall behind on payments, with occurrences of late payments at 13.1 percent compared to 12.7 percent for women.

Men were also more likely to own a mortgage independently though 72 percent of consumers have joint mortgages.

The study revealed men own 18.3 percent more independent mortgages than women, except for in Washington, D.C., where women own 33 percent more loans than men.

Overall, men own 4.3 percent more debt than women, with average debt at $26,227, according to data from Experian. Women also averaged a slightly higher credit score of 675, just one point higher than men.

""Seeing the divide between how men and women approach credit is interesting, but what's most important is understanding the value of building a good credit history. How you manage credit and debt is critical to your financial well-being,"" said Maxine Sweet, Experian VP of public education. ""Paying attention to what's in your credit report, never missing a payment, and keeping your utilization rates low are three key steps to financial success.""

About Author: Esther Cho

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