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Debt, bankruptcy and gender: Is there a link?

Have you been wondering if men and women look at debt differently? Is one gender more likely than the other to fall into bankruptcy? Some studies suggest that could definitely be the case.

For example, men do tend to have more debt than women. The difference isn't huge, but average debt held by men is 4.3 percent higher.

This holds true with homes, as well, to an even greater extent. The mortgages that men get tend to have are about 4.9 percent bigger than the mortgages that women use.

In terms of credit cards, men use a slightly higher percentage of the credit available to them, clocking in at 31 percent while women are at just 30 percent.

Does this translate into debt troubles and perhaps bankruptcy? It can. A study determined that women were less likely to get behind when it comes to mortgage payments. The study looked at those who were a full two months (60 days) behind, at minimum. This applied to 5.3 percent of women and 5.7 percent of men.

Women, despite being in debt less often or to a lesser extent, were also more willing to seek assistance. One firm said that twice as many women came in for financial counseling, for instance, while another said that about one-third were men and two-thirds were women.

While all of this does suggest that there is a link between gender and debt, it is worth noting that the difference is, in many cases, rather slight. It's clearly very important for both men and women to know what legal options they have when they get in financial trouble.

Source: Bankrate, "Men, women and debt: Does gender matter?," Janna Herron, accessed July 18, 2017

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