Women Collection Accounts
Three Reasons Why Women Struggle With Debt Collectors
We’ve heard from thousands of people struggling to resolve collection accounts, and debt collection can affect consumers of any gender, age or economic backgrounds.
Nevertheless there are several types of problems we hear on a regular basis from women. Here are three common reasons women struggle with collection accounts:
Helping Others Out
Whether it’s a boyfriend, partner, child, or grandchild--or sometimes just a friend--women are often willing to lend money or even their good credit scores to someone in need. They may cosign a loan, trusting that the person they are helping out will pay the loan. They are often surprised to learn that they do not have to be notified before an account they cosigned for is turned over to collections. By then, the damage to their credit may already be done.
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Not Enough to Go Around
Women, on average, earn less than men. According to the Shriver Report, one in three women live in or on the brink of poverty. And the average woman spends 15% of her working years outside of the workforce caring for children and elderly parents compared to the average man’s 1.6%, according to the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement and National Center for Women’s Retirement Research.*
After helping take care of family needs, many women simply do not have enough money to go around. Paying debt collectors may fall to the bottom of the list.
Afraid to Fight Back
Both men and women often shut down when debt collectors call. But avoiding debt collectors is not generally a good strategy, and can even make things work if the collectors feel they have no option but to sue. For women, these calls can be even more stressful if they just don’t have enough money to pay their debts. As a result, they may make promises they can’t keep, or agree to make tiny payments that stretch out the debt with no end in sight. They may also agree to make a small payment in “good faith,” which may, in turn, hurt them in the long run by extending the amount of time the collector can sue.
Women who are hearing from debt collectors should understand their rights and options. It will empower them to make better decisions about their finances, and to find ways to put those problems behind them.
*For more helpful statistics about women and money, visit WomensMoney.org