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Abstract

Of the sample of rural homeowners in the Ozark Region in 1966, less than half had ever mortgaged their property. However, those who had mortgaged occupied significantly higher quality housing than those who had not. The trend in the region is toward greater use of credit to finance home purchases. The study strongly indicates that rural home buyers have limited access to long-term, low-equity, amortized loans. Most loans were made by local banks, individuals, and a wide assortment of minor lenders; rural lending activity of savings and loan associations and life insurance companies was limited. Very little evidence was found that conventional lenders bring about inflows of home mortgage credit by initiating Government-backed mortgages for sale to Government agencies or major purchasers of home mortgages. Half of all loans were for less than $5,500. The higher the income and the more years of schooling a household head had the more likely he was to obtain a desirable type of home mortgage credit loan. Age of household head also affected desire and ability to get credit.

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