Women Lead the Way as Kiwis’ Credit Payments Become Easier
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
WOMEN LEAD THE WAY AS KIWIS’
CREDIT PAYMENTS BECOME EASIER
As more than 60 per cent of New Zealanders indicate they will find it easier to meet their upcoming credit obligations, it is women who have overtaken men as having a greater capacity to make their repayments.
In a reversal of its historical findings, Dun & Bradstreet’s latest D&B Consumer Credit Expectations Survey has revealed that 63 per cent of women do not anticipate difficulties in meeting their credit obligations in the June quarter 2013, compared to 57 per cent of men.
The survey, which measures expectations for savings, credit usage, spending and debt performance, shows a five per cent quarter-on-quarter improvement in the credit payments outlook for women, while the same measure has dropped nine per cent among Kiwi men.
While the national average for the ease of meeting credit obligations has risen marginally since the same period last year, it is the swing in the sexes that provides most interest.
According to D&B New Zealand’s General Manager, Lance Crooks, the D&B figures signal that women are becoming savvier with their personal finances.
“A significant proportion
of women are improving their ability to manage their debt
and credit obligations, indicating they are becoming more
responsible than men when it comes to taking charge of their
“The marked increase in the number of women finding it easy to pay off their credit cards, loans and mortgages – surpassing the number of men for the first time in nearly two years – further highlights that women are making an effort to be on a firmer financial footing this quarter.”
In further evidence of an improved financial position, only 14 per cent of women expect their debt levels to rise, compared to 17 per cent of men. The number of females expecting higher debt levels is down marginally from the March quarter 2013 but down five per cent year-on-year, while this was true for 14 per cent of males in the previous quarter and unchanged year-on-year.
This data comes as a MasterCard consumer survey reveals half of New Zealand women are responsible for managing monthly household finances.
Findings also indicate that women are more likely to exercise conservative spending habits, with three-quarters of women likely to avoid spending on non-essential purchases, up nine per cent quarter-on-quarter. Sixty-four per cent of men will shy away from making non-essential purchases, unchanged from the last quarter.
When it comes to applying for credit, women also have a smaller appetite than men – only four per cent intend to apply for a new credit card in the June quarter, compared with 10 per cent of men. Furthermore, one in five women plan to raise their credit limit, while nearly 40 per cent of men are likely to do the same in the next three months.
These findings are released just after official Treasury data reveals robust real wage growth of 1.7 per cent over the past year.
According to Stephen Koukoulas, Economic Advisor to Dun & Bradstreet, it is difficult to pinpoint any particular issue that would have seen such a significant lift in the proportion of women in control of their finances, relative to men.
“The survey shows that women, relative to men, are slightly less likely to take on additional credit, which could mean that the slow but steady improvement in the general economy and low interest rate settings from the Reserve Bank are helping their finances more acutely than men, who according to the survey, have a slightly higher disposition towards debt.”
Overall national data is also positive, with nearly half of New Zealanders not planning to use their credit cards to pay for otherwise unaffordable purchases. This has steadily dropped from 66 per cent during the same quarter last year and from 50 per cent in the March quarter. Wellington residents, those aged 50+ years and those earning more than $70,000 per annum are most likely to steer clear of putting unaffordable expenses on credit, at 53 per cent each. Moreover, more than 40 per cent of New Zealanders are more likely to save money in consideration of current economic conditions. In particular, 53 per cent of consumers aged 18 to 34 years, 44 per cent of Christchurch residents and 45 per cent of those earning more than $70,000 per annum fall into this category.
This national survey was conducted online on behalf of D&B by TNS Global from 18-25 March, surveying 909 respondents aged 18-64 years.