Millions of Americans may know full well that they need to improve their credit scores, but for many it's often difficult or even impossible to do so. There may be many reasons for this, but the issue seems to impact women more so than men, and therefore the former could have more issues getting their scores higher.
A recent study found that women tend to have slightly lower credit scores than men, despite the fact that they also tend to carry less debt. There could be a number of reasons for this, but financial experts would generally agree the disparity in pay between men and women could play a significant role. Indeed, if a woman makes less money, her ability to pay all her bills each month would of course be negatively impacted. But that may also put them in a difficult position when it comes to boosting their scores once again.
What's the impact?
When women look to improve their credit ratings, there are a number of tacks they can take, such as making a greater effort to keep up with all their bills or chipping away at their outstanding balances even more than they already have. However, that can take a long time, and many Americans – women and men alike – may not have the flexibility to actually do this as effectively as they might like.
The problem there is that people with low or even no credit scores to speak of may have far-reaching effects in their life even beyond their ability to successfully pay their credit card bills or other loan balances. For instance, studies show the vast majority of employers in nearly every state evaluate a person's credit standing when making hiring decisions, so those whose scores have suffered or who have just not had access to credit in recent years will likely be shut out from being hired by those companies.
Is there a way out?
There are about 40 million people nationwide who are considered "slim profile" consumers, meaning they don't have an adequate credit history to be scored properly. While that constitutes about 1 in 8 Americans, those who have struggled with maintaining a strong credit score do have a chance to improve their standing without putting in months of diligent work.
This can be done by self-reporting payment data on far more than just traditional credit accounts to alternative credit scoring companies, such as PRBC. By doing so, they would be able to have monthly payments like those for rent, utilities, cable, and more all counted toward their overall credit standing. This would be a good idea, according to many consumer advocates and financial experts, because it helps to paint a more complete picture of how people handles their money each month. Moreover, it avoids huge hits to a credit score when even a minor credit misstep is made, and can put consumers in much better shape going forward.