Men More Likely To Have Their Credit Limit Reduced Since Start Of Pandemic

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  • Men were also more likely to miss a payment or make it late, new Forbes Advisor credit card survey finds
  • Nearly half of men are carrying over their balance every month, compared to a third of women

Men More Likely To Have Their Credit Limit Reduced

Men are considerably more likely than women to have had their credit limit reduced or to have missed a credit card payment since the start of the pandemic, new research has revealed.

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The study by financial comparison site Forbes Advisor surveyed 2,005 American adults to discover their credit card usage, including spending habits, frustrations, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It revealed men are much more likely to have had their credit limit reduced since the start of the pandemic. More than half of the males questioned (53%) said their credit card issuer had reduced the limit on at least one of their cards in the past two years, whereas for women that figure drops to 37%.

It also found that 82% of men have missed a payment and/or made a late payment during the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to 71% of women. The most common reason for both genders was that they needed money for essentials, at 44% for women and 43% for men. Three in ten men (30%) aid they simply forgot to pay, while only 21% of women said the same.

In addition, a higher percentage of males carry their credit card balance from one month to the next, resulting in them owing interest. The survey found 48% of men say they carry their balance over every month, compared to 36% of women.

Overall the study revealed that nearly one in six women (16%) have never applied for a credit card, however just 7% of men haven’t done so.

When it came to rewards, men’s top reason for applying for a credit card is to transfer a balance from another card, which was cited by 50% of male respondents. For females, the primary concern is to earn spending rewards, with 37% choosing that reason.

Women’s favorite type of credit card reward is transferable points – just over a quarter (27%) selected it as their top benefit, followed by 26% preferring hotel points. Three in ten men (30%) chose hotel points their favorite reward, followed by airline miles on 24%.

The genders are united in their biggest frustration with credit cards, with the highest proportion of women (40%) and men (39.3%) saying that interest rates were the biggest annoyance. They were also in agreement on the second biggest irritation – annual fees.

The study also examined regional differences in credit card usage, finding that those in the Northeast are most likely to have missed or made a late payment, with 82% in the region saying they had done, compared to just 64% of those in the Midwest.

The West was the second most likely to have skipped a payment as 77% said they had done so, followed by the Southeast on 76%, and the Southwest on 71%.

People in the Northeast were also the most likely to have had their credit limit reduced in the past two years. Just over half (51%) of those questioned in the region said this had happened with at least one of their cards. In contrast only one third of people in the Midwest (33%) have seen their limit lowered.

Commenting on the finding, a spokesperson for Forbes Advisor said: “This data offers a fascinating insight into how different demographics manage their credit card usage, and how they’ve been impacted financially by the events of the past two years. Overall we see that men are more likely not only to use a credit card, but also to treat it in a way that could be considered risky. Some of this behavior can have the potential to damage a person’s credit rating, and with a quarter of Americans saying they missed or made a late payment simply because they forgot, it’s a risk that can easily be avoided.”

The study was conducted by Forbes Advisor, whose editorial team boasts decades of experience in the personal finance space. It is passionate about helping consumers make the financial decisions and choose the financial products that are right for their life and goals.

The team brings rich industry knowledge to Advisor’s coverage of consumer credit, debt, banking, investing, insurance, loans, real estate and travel. Its priority is ensuring its coverage, reviews and advice is backed by research, deep expertise and strict methodologies.