Monday, June 29, 2015

The mystery of credit card debt

Who could possibly fathom the mystery?
A 2015 National Debt Relief survey of 1,107 adults with credit card debt revealed some interesting differences between the sexes. In the survey, the main difference between men and women was the amount of credit card debt they carried.

For instance, 63 percent of women ages 18 to 24 carried some credit card debt, but only 36 percent of men in that age category had any debt. Similarly, 66 percent of women ages 55 to 64 carried credit card debt, but only 33 percent of men in that age bracket had credit card debt.

So why the split, and what can women do about these troubling statistics?

Adam Tijerina, consumer advocate for National Debt Relief, says several potential reasons for this gender gap exist. However, he speculates that the most likely culprit is that women are still paid less than men.
The reason is obvious. Women have a not entirely unreasonable expectation that they can expected to have their debt paid off by a man at some point in the future, so their risk tolerance is higher in this regard.

Which, of course, is exactly why men need to make it clear that they will not involve themselves with women who are heavily indebted.

37 comments:

johnthefaster said...

I would argue that the difference is future-time orientation between men and women. Your analysis of credit-card debt will hold true for comparisons of other groups with different FTOs.

The woman without credit-card debt or student loans is the modern-day equivalent of a dowry. For what it's worth, I know quite a few guys who won't marry their girlfriends due to the mass indebtedness. I think the expectation that a guy is going to pay off their debts is no longer a realistic one.

D. Lane (#0067) said...

However, he speculates that the most likely culprit is that women are still paid less than men.

I speculate the most likely culprit is the cognitive difference between men and women in the presence of a sale.

AmyJ said...

It's a mystery how many times they can use the gender "wage gap" to explain all of women's failings.

Blame men, naturally, for your spending incontinence.

brian said...

However, he speculates that the most likely culprit is that women are still paid less than men.

There's a really easy way to tell if this is true: add the average indebtedness to the average salary. If the sum for women is less than or equal to the sum for men, then it's true.

I've got five bucks that says it isn't.

everybodyhatesscott said...

A friend of mines sister just got married with a few hundred K of student loan debt. All I could think was "What an idiot." She'll get knocked up, work 20 hours a week, and he'll pay it off for the rest of his life.

Vincent Castrillo said...

"The reason is obvious. Women have a not entirely unreasonable expectation that they can expected to have their debt paid off by a man at some point in the future, so their risk tolerance is higher in this regard."

Even this implies some rational thinking on the part of females. There is none. The modern woman is low time horizon like the rest of their "coalition" and don't feel the need to think about debt. After a while some white knight might come along, daddy might want to reconnect, or there is always bankruptcy as you say, but this is rarely ever a plausible consideration from the start.

I would agree indebtedness is a good signifier of mate quality, but perhaps more important is her view of money to begin with. There are a whole host of reasons why a young woman with bad habits and a shopping compulsion would go under your debt radar. Rich dad, not old enough to have accumulated much, etc. You take a girl with no debt and in ten years you are up to your ears in it. Besides, most women would rather share their weight with you then either their credit score or total debt....

Men need to find a grounded woman. One who shows no need to put on airs or up status her friends. Women who plainly state they want to raise kids at home and support the family in that manner are usually good at this. You basically need to find a teammate of decent breeding for a spouse. Romantic love is nice, but secondary. But I am old fashioned.

Corvinus said...

Women are in general far worse than men at handling money, news at 11.

Corvinus said...

Also... does anybody know of a man who gets a high from shopping? That's another thing that could explain the female debt gap. Heh.

johnthefaster said...

@Corvinus

It seems that gay men get that "high" from shopping.

Double E said...

Also... does anybody know of a man who gets a high from shopping?

I got a pretty good high after I went shopping in Denver in a few months ago.

Rabbi B said...

" . . . so their risk tolerance is higher in this regard."

This, coupled with inherent short-sightedness and unaccountability which prevents them from caring about, let alone seeing beyond the next turn in the road; whether that roads ends in a cliff or not, they'll enjoy the ride as long is it lasts.

Tom K said...

Any man that operated this way would be called a sociopath.

mansizedtarget said...

I think men just are generally less into "stuff." I feel I had everything I needed and wanted at 30 other than experiences like movies, dinners, vacations, etc.

Brad Andrews said...

The man who keeps an indebted girlfriend around, claiming to not want marriage because of the debt is fooling himself. He has no desire for marriage or he would next her and look for someone else. She will never dig herself out of that in time, or ever in most cases.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

If you're serious about her, request a credit report.

And yes, men do get a "high" when they'rr out shopping. Check out any comic book convention, exotic car show, motorcycle dealership, or strip club to see how some men react to the goods they covet.

Corvinus said...

And yes, men do get a "high" when they'rr out shopping. Check out any comic book convention, exotic car show, motorcycle dealership, or strip club to see how some men react to the goods they covet.

@LBF
I guess I'm weird then. I always get buyer's remorse whenever I spend money, even if it's on something I really want or need.

Cadders said...

Most women don't do cause and effect like men (i.e. they don't really do it at all).

In the past they might have been able to rely on their sexuality or even (shock, horro) their femininity to get a man to pay it off but those day are now, mostly, gone. Even Big Daddy Government is tapped out.

We are of the cusp of an impoverished spinster epidemic. You think the chorus of gimedat from the single mothers is bad.

We aint seen nothing yet.

Rabbi B said...

There's always this alternative I suppose:

http://www.chinasmack.com/2013/stories/man-fed-up-with-girlfriends-shopping-spree-jumps-to-his-death.html

Bob said...

What's the best that the male's credit card debt, was racked up by a woman

Corvinus said...

@Rabbi B

A strange thing to do even here, but men are far more expendable in China.

And I'm pretty sure the shopaholic girlfriend knows this.

Rabbi B said...

Slightly OT perhaps, but the OP reminded me of a joke I heard several years ago . . .

One evening last week, my girlfriend and I were getting into bed.

Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says “I don’t feel like it, I just want you to hold me.”

I said “WHAT??!! What was that?!”

So she says the words that every boyfriend on the planet dreads to hear…

“You’re just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me
to satisfy your physical needs as a man”.

She responded to my puzzled look by saying, “Can’t you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?”

Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, I went to sleep.

The very next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big unnamed department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn’t decide which one to take so I told her we’d just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so I said lets get a pair for each outfit. We went onto the jewelry department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. Let me tell you…she was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave short of a shipwreck.

I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn’t even know how to play tennis. I think I threw her for a loop when I said, “That’s fine, honey”. She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement.

Smiling with excited anticipation she finally said, “I think this is all dear, let’s go to the cashier”.

I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, “No honey, I don’t feel like it”.

Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled

"WHAT?”.

I then said “honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You’re just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman.”

“Why can’t you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?"

johnthefaster said...

Women seem to consider credit card debt as one of those things that "just happens", much like accidentally having sex with an alpha male behind a dumpster behind a seedy bar. They certainly don't have any responsibility for what ensues - it's not their fault emergency expenses came up and they had to go into debt for them. (Where emergencies = things like tires on their car needing replacing, their cat needing routine care at the vet, and so on.)

This is how otherwise-intelligent women with decently high IQs, college degrees, good jobs / good work performance, etc. think. It's not innate behaviour to women. It's learned behaviour from years and years of being told they can do no wrong and that they deserve everything.

Vincent Castrillo said...

I agree with Corvinus, when I make any significant purchase above say dinner I usually feel like I could have waited or done better even if I get a ridiculous deal. I got a new Rogue last year for 17K all in after I traded in an 8 year old Trailblazer hooptee and even though it was 3 grand lower than anywhere else I was still a bit frustrated for a few weeks. Ditto when I sold my last home for a six figure profit.

I don't consider myself a cheapskate. Perhaps it's just being in charge of all the finances in my home and making all the money that makes me think twice for even the best deals. Women do not appear to have this problem. It's always why they are usually my best and worst clients.

Eric said...

There's a really easy way to tell if this is true: add the average indebtedness to the average salary. If the sum for women is less than or equal to the sum for men, then it's true.

This makes no sense to me. Debt isn't income, and the confusion of the two gets a lot of people in trouble.

Instead of comparing averages, why not compare people of different sexes with the same income? Do men at salary $X have the same debt as women at salary $X? If not, that eliminates income as the cause.

Vox is right. Women take out extra debt because they're expecting someone else to pay it back. It might even make sense. For a single woman spending more to look her best and rub elbows with a wealthier set of men is an investment that could pay off handsomely.

LP 999/Eliza said...

Women are foolish to enter debt and expect anyone to bail them out.

Creditdebtmoney is total theft and usually a waste of money. Unless its a need like paying for dental, eye or something with a vehicle its not worth the purchase. Those purchases should be returned, credit card paid off and clipped in two.

brian said...

Eric - You're right, and your formula is sensible. You said what I meant.

And I think you're on to something where she's leveraging future potential income (in the form of a high-value male) in the hopes of getting a good long-term ROI.

retrophoebia said...

Timely. Just met a nice gal... with $250k in (school) debt. On a doctor track. Sorry, not gonna happen. The comment above about a woman without debt being like a modern dowry... this would be a large negative dowry.

Jack Amok said...

Adam Tijerina, consumer advocate for National Debt Relief...speculates that the most likely culprit is that women are still paid less than men.

I'd say the most likely culprit is probably shoes. If Adam Tijerina had ever been in a woman's bedroom long enough to see her closet, he'd know that too.

pdwalker said...

The chickens come home to roost eventually.

Why anyone would want to get involved with a woman incapable of handling her own finances responsibly is beyond me. That's a definite red flag.

2870b918-77c0-11e3-b9bd-000bcdcb8a73 said...

On the other side of the coin. . .

When my wife and I got married, she had a car loan. Nothing major; she'd been easily making the payments out of what she earned. But she didn't want to bring debt into the marriage, so she cashed in her IRA to pay off the car. Since she was only 39 at the time, she incurred a tax penalty which was much bigger than the interest on the loan would have been if she'd done nothing. Or rather, we incurred the tax penalty, since we were now filing jointly.

APL said...

"However, he speculates that the most likely culprit is that women are still paid less than men."

Doh!! We're talking about CREDIT debt here.

Retrenched said...

"However, he speculates that the most likely culprit is that women are still paid less than men".

Left unstated: because they work less than men. But pointing that out is inconvenient to The Narrative, so of course it's omitted.

Derrick Bonsell said...

I want to see those stats on income between the sexes with the unemployed and discouraged included. I bet that would erase the whole disparity.

Kyle Smith said...

When I married my wife had $9000 in credit card debt she had not told me about and I had $9000 in the bank. Together we balanced each other out. Oh - to be young and without guidance in the marriage market...

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