Credit penetration to women borrowers is at a low 12 per cent of the gender's adult population, despite them displaying better repayment rates than men, a leading credit information company said on Monday.
In a report published on the eve of the International Women's Day, TransUnion Cibil said women -- who form nearly half of the overall population -- account for less than a fourth of the overall credit outstanding as of 2021-end.
The credit penetration, or the percentage of women who have availed a loan, is 12 per cent as of 2021, which has doubled from the 6 per cent level five years ago but is still low despite positives like better repayment rates displayed by the gender.
The delinquency rate for credit availed by women stands at 5.2 per cent across all retail loans, as against 6.9 per cent for their male counterparts, the report said.
It added that 53 per cent of the women fall under the prime credit score range as against 47 per cent for men.
The report pegged the total number of women borrowers at 54 million in 2021, up from 22.5 million five years ago, and added that the growth in new to credit customers is a low 3 per cent on a compounded growth rate basis in the five-year period.
Lenders undertake a slew of offers focused on women borrowers, including provisions for softer interest rates. Policy also supports women through dedicated sub-limits under the priority sector lending (PSL) guidelines.
Harshala Chandorkar, chief operating officer at the company, said women are emerging as a powerful consumer segment in the retail credit market backed by strong growth, better credit profiles and lower delinquency rates.
Meanwhile, Cibil's rival CRIF Highmark said the share of women borrowers is the highest (31 per cent) in the home loans segment and lowest (17 per cent) in personal loans, while in auto loans it stands at 18 per cent.
Females lag from an average ticket size perspective to males across all categories, barring auto loans where they seem to be taking bigger loans (average ticket size of Rs 6.9 lakh versus Rs 6.4 lakh).
In business loans, the average ticket size for women was at Rs 2.9 lakh as against Rs 4.6 lakh for males.
From a geographical perspective, Maharashtra leads in auto, business and home loans, while Tamil Nadu leads on the personal loans front, CRIF said in a report.
The foreign lenders exhibit the lowest share in overall loans disbursed to women at just 0.9 per cent, as against 31.7 per cent for non-bank finance companies, 29.1 per cent for private banks and 32.7 per cent for state-run banks, the data showed.
The share of disbursements to women for the state-run lenders slid to 32.7 per cent in 2021 from 39 per cent in 2020.
(With inputs from PTI)