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Men and women nearly equal in credit card misuse

Wisconsin residents can learn from a recent study that covered a year of people's spending habits, and it shows that men and women both have bad credit behavior. Men, for example, are more likely to take cash advances, while women will carry balances on their cards. Such trends in credit debt can be damaging to the all-important FICO score.

On the cash advance front, 15 percent of men took an advance compared to 12 percent of women. However, women are more inclined to carry balances from month to month, with 60 percent, while the men aren't far behind at 55 percent.

Men and women are close when it comes to paying late fees: 29 percent of women in the study paid at least one, and men were right behind them with 23 percent. These fees can also make the rates on the credit card go up and credit scores go down. Another mistake that was made by both sexes was making only a minimum payment: 42 percent of women reported this behavior, and 38 percent of men made the smallest possible payment part of the time. The problem with doing this is it will frequently cost thousands of dollars in interest and take many years to retire the debt.

Credit cards are a near necessity in today's society since it is difficult to rent a car or even reserve a hotel room without one. However, circumstances can allow for balances to get out of control, and it can be hard to stay ahead of the large credit card balances. A bankruptcy attorney may be able to review the financial situation and recommend which part of the Bankruptcy Code is best suited to meet the debtor's needs.

Source: Daily Finance, "Bad Behavior: Men, Women and Credit Card Debt", Michele Lerner, May 22, 2013

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