Financial Services: Sex


This evidence review has continually demonstrated the role individuals' sex plays in accessing the labour market and their subsequent level of earnings. However, research regarding credit and debt in this area is complex and often contradictory.

Ultimately, the use of non-traditional forms of credit is relatively recent and therefore, the level and depth of research into the area is slightly limited.

Saying this, the data which is available provides an insight into the relationship between sex, credit and debt.  To provide further context to these discussions, this section should be viewed in conjunction with the following:



UK wide research by the Personal Finance Research Centre (sample: 1,451) provides a demographic breakdown of consumer credit, by sex:

  • Payday loan: Women 39%, men 61%
  • Payday (retail): Women 51%, men 49%
  • Pawnbroker: Women 59%, men 41%
  • Home credit: Women 65%, men 35%

Please note, all participants in this survey had previously used some form of consumer credit.

Source: Personal Finance Research Centre. 2013. The Impact on Business and Consumers of a Cap on the Total Cost of Credit. University of Bristol.

Research by the Competition Commission (sample: 1,443) presents the following data on the use of alternative sources of credit, by sex:

  • Pawnbroker loan: men 32%, women 22%
  • Overdraft: men 21%, women 17%
  • Credit card: men 21%, women 13%
  • Home credit: men 16%, women 18%
  • Unlicensed lender: men 19%, women 17%

Please note, not all participants had in this survey had previously used some form of consumer credit.

Source: Competition Commission. 2013. Research into the Payday Lending Market.

Research by the money advice centre presents the following data regarding over indebtedness, a term used to describe when someone is at least three months behind on their bills in the last six months. The survey included 5,000 participants:

  • Women account for 64% of the total people over indebted in the research 

Source: The Money Advice Service. 2013. Indebted Lives: The Complexities of Life in Debt.