Types of mortgages and the gender pay gap. Is there a connection?

28 February, 2024 | M Aparicio

Buying a home is a very important moment in a person’s life, and in the process of obtaining a mortgage for this purpose, fundamental issues arise that go beyond the mere act of purchasing it. We can ask ourselves the following question: Is there any connection between the types of mortgages and the persistent gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap, a problem that has yet to be resolved

Despite advances in gender equity, women still face salary disparities compared to men. The European Commission defines the gender pay gap as “the relative difference in the average gross income of women and men within the economy as a whole.

Factors such as employment discrimination, lack of promotion opportunities, and occupational segregation contribute to this persistent gap. Women often earn less than men, which has significant consequences on their financial lives and, consequently, on their investment decisions, such as buying a home.

The IESE Business School study shows that Spanish women earn 12% less than men for doing the same job.

Types of Mortgages

Before looking into the connection between the gender pay gap and the types of mortgages, let’s recall the different types of mortgages available in the mortgage market.

Mortgage loans vary in terms of interest rate, term, and payment structure.

The two most common types are fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages offer stability with constant monthly payments, while variable-rate mortgages can change, often linked to market interest rates. In the vast majority of cases, variable mortgages are indexed to the Euribor.

Additionally, there are mixed mortgages, in which the mortgage starts as fixed for a certain period specified in the contract, before switching to a variable mortgage until the end of its term.

How are mortgages and the gender pay gap related?

There is no conclusive evidence of a direct relationship between the types of mortgages and the gender pay gap. However, intuitively, it can be easily thought that the choice of a mortgage type might be influenced by the gender pay gap.

For instance, women might have to opt for a fixed-rate mortgage instead of a variable one due to concerns about their long-term financial stability. And being more direct, it can be easily understood that women may find it harder to secure a mortgage due to the gender pay gap and discrimination in the labor market.

Considering the salary disparity, women often have a smaller family budget, which can directly affect their ability to access certain types of mortgages. Women may be forced to choose loans with higher interest rates or less favorable payment terms, which has long-term consequences on their finances.

Additionally, women may also encounter additional difficulties when applying for a mortgage. As we have indicated, gender discrimination in the financial sector can result in lower approval rates or stricter conditions for women, even when they have a good credit history.


Another important aspect of this relationship is the impact of maternity on the gender pay gap and, consequently, on mortgage decisions.

Women may face obstacles in their respective companies after becoming mothers and even when they are not yet, but there are indications that they might be pregnant.

The reasons may be due to the interruption of their careers to care for their children or discrimination in the workplace. This directly affects their ability to handle financial responsibilities, including mortgages.

There are perspectives for positive change

From Hipotecas Plus, we see that efforts to address the gender pay gap are underway from administrations. There is an increase in public awareness and actions from governments, at least the European ones, seeking to close this gap.

Also, the financial world is showing greater sensitivity towards gender equality, which could translate into more inclusive policies and practices in mortgage lending.

Conclusions on types of mortgages and the gender pay gap. Is there a connection?

We have not found evidence of a direct relationship between the gender pay gap and the types of mortgages, but intuitively we can affirm that there must be a clear connection.

This is because gender discrimination and salary disparity directly impact women’s ability to access more favorable mortgage loans.

But we also realize that there is an ongoing focus on gender equality and changes in financial practices, so there is hope that the future landscape will be more equitable for everyone, regardless of their gender.