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The Credit Dangers Single Parents Face

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If being a parent often feels like a constant juggling act, it can be that much more challenging for single parents. Between work and parenting, it can feel like there’s never enough time, energy or money for the things you want to do. And that feeling may extend to your credit too. You may barely have time to check your credit, much less fix it.

“When you are a single parent you are almost always poorer than when you were a married parent,” warns Emma Johnson, a single mom of two young children and founder of “So the pressure to have good credit is even bigger. Your income is going to be lower for whatever purchase it is going to be.”

The numbers back her up. In 2011 there were 8.6 million single moms a who were primary or sole breadwinners in their families and 2.6 million households headed by single dads, according to Pew Research. Both groups earn less than their married counterparts; the median adjusted income in households headed by married fathers is $70,000, but it drops to $40,000 for single fathers and just $26,000 for a household of three headed by a single mother.