The Financial Readiness Gender Gap
Kora recently surveyed 700 college students across the U.S. about their finances. After 2 years of the pandemic, online classes, Zoom fatigue and the rise of crypto, how are college students feeling about their finances?
What we found was a surprising gender gap in what we call Financial Readiness — having the money management, financial literacy, and credit skills to graduate ready for life. Also, we found scientific evidence that cryptobros are real. Read on to find out.
Money is a Mental Health Issue
About half of college students agreed or strongly agreed that money is often an obstacle for them making the most out of college, and as a consequence, half of students also say their personal finances have affected their mental health.
Digging into the results, we found something surprising: these results were mostly driven by women. Female college students were 20% more likely to say money was an obstacle and 29% more likely to say their personal finances have affected their mental health.
At Kora, our mission is to help college students achieve financial readiness before they graduate. Financial Readiness means having money management skills, financial literacy, and access to responsible credit. Based on our results, we think a big reason women are struggling with personal finances more is because there aren’t enough accessible resources and tools to become financially ready.
This is the area where we see some of the biggest gaps. Men are 52% more likely to say they’ve taken a financial literacy course in college and 55% more likely to say they research financial literacy on their own. Women on the other hand, are 57% more likely to say they’ve never taken a course and don’t know where or how to get started.
Men report to be significantly more comfortable than women in disputing an error in their credit report, managing their credit score, and even applying for credit. As a result, men are more likely to have their own credit cards, and report being happier and less exhausted by managing their finances when compared to women.
This, in turn, makes men more self-sufficient when it comes to being financially independent. They’re 23% more likely to use their credit card to get out of a money jam, as opposed to asking their parents or working extra shifts to cover their money needs.
This one is more of a mixed bag. By a 9-point margin, women report saving more of their money at the end of the month than men do. However, college men have a much more diversified portfolio, with significantly more men owning investment accounts, stock, and cryptocurrencies. In fact, we may have found scientific proof that cryptobros are real: men are a whopping 180% more likely to say they invest their savings in cryptocurrency.
Contributor to the wage gap?
While the gender wage gap is a systemic issue with multiple causes, we think this financial readiness gap is a significant contributor. Women are graduating college with fewer money management skills, worse credit options, and a less diversified savings portfolio. Against, as a Forbes article points out, the likelihood that they will live longer, are more likely to leave the workplace mid-career, and earn less money.
That’s why at Kora, we’re building an inclusive app platform that can help any college student achieve financial readiness. Our suite of financial services and tools track your spending, build your credit, and guide you toward spending—with great cash back rewards. Ready to get started? Check out the Kora app today!
In college and trying to stay on top of your finances? AtKora, we know how hard it is to balance classes and navigate the changing world of money. Our blog breaks down big concepts and tells you why it’s relevant to your life. Follow us to stay in the know!