Exclusive: Men are bigger spenders than women holding more credit cards and they are worse at paying back their debt, a new report has found.
Contrary to popular belief males have 56 per cent of all credit cards in Australia and are more likely to be behind in their repayments, the analysis showed in data and analytics business Illion’s new Credit Card Nation report.
It also showed of cardholders who are two or more months behind on the card repayments, men make up 56 per cent of those who are in arrears.
Illion’s chief executive officer Simon Bligh said men usually racked up bigger purchases and were more slack in making their repayments on time.
“Men are risk takers and tend to have their spend on electronics and large expenditure items that a credit card is a suitable for,” he said.
Reserve Bank of Australia figures showed credit card users owe a whopping $51.9 billion on plastic and more than $31.4 billion is accruing interest.
Many credit card products attract interest rates above 20 per cent.
But Mr Bligh said buy now pay later schemes such as Afterpay and Zippay which had boomed in popularity were most likely to be used by women (69 per cent).
The report showed in about four years since these schemes started in Australia more than 3.5 million people had signed up.
The deals allow customers to receive their goods instantly and pay them off in instalments but consumers are hit with excessive fees if they do not meet the strict payment criteria.
But despite more Australians turning away from credit cards and instead signing up to these schemes, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission found that the products could cause customers significant pain.
This was become the schemes allowed users “to spend more than they otherwise would and to buy things they otherwise might not have.”
Alarming figures from Westpac also found 60 per cent of women are living week to week compared to just 40 per cent of men.
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Westpac’s head of women’s markets Felicity Duffy said the trap of using “tap and go” made it simple to spend money without thinking.
“It’s much easier to keep tapping and not actually consciously thinking about the money that is coming in and going out,” she said.
“You need to understand your own financial situation and make sure you are in a situation that you are forced to regularly live beyond your means.”
TIPS TO STAYING IN THE BLACK
• Stay in control of your spending.
• Pay your credit card bill on time and try to pay it in full every month.
• Stick to using debit not credit.
• Take advantage of zero per cent balance-transfer deals.
Originally published as Why men fail at managing money