Research and Statistics

Infographic: Female college students edge males in credit smarts


Female students do a bit better in handling credit, says a Sallie Mae study

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College students are managing their money better than you might think, with a majority taking sole responsibility for their

credit charges and paying their balances off in full. But differences exist between the financial habits of male and female students, according to a study by Sallie Mae, with young women taking the lead slightly more often.

Among all surveyed students, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) make their card payments entirely themselves, with 89 percent paying more than the minimum every month. Better yet, almost two-thirds (63 percent) are regularly paying off their full balance.

Male students do a bit better here, with 77 percent solely responsible for their payments (versus 68 percent for young women) and 68 percent fully paying off their balance every month (versus 57 percent for women).

But female students outscore their male counterparts on a handful of other measures. Approximately two-thirds of the women track their spending, never spend more than they have, and expressly obtained a card in order to build good credit.

For male students, the proportion on each of these was just around half.

The young women also outscored the men in a “how credit works” quiz, with a third acing the three-question test, compared to just over a quarter (28 percent) of male students.

Female students also appear more focused on keeping card balances in check. In perhaps the study’s biggest disparity between genders, the average card balance of young men was almost twice that of the female average, at $1,190 vs. $642.

Sallie Mae’s “Majoring in Money” survey was conducted by Ipsos Dec. 18-31, 2015, using online interviews of almost 800 higher education students between the ages of 18 and 24. The survey results were calibrated to reflect the demographic composition of the U.S. population and were released March 10, 2016.



See related: How to combat 5 common female financial fears, More infographics

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