Analysis of 1971 census data on existing mortgages shows home buyers in rural areas paid higher interest rates on conventional mortgages and had shorter repayment periods than did their urban counterparts. They also had fewer choices of lenders. Even so, it appears credit conditions did improve during the 1960's in rural areas. Savings and loan associations, the major home mortgage lenders, became more active in rural areas. They held 35 percent of the first mortgages in 1971 as compared with 23 percent in 1960. Also, Federal agencies, particularly Farmers Home Administration, expanded activities in rural areas. This expansion tended to narrow the gap between the percentage of loans guaranteed and insured in rural areas as compared to metro areas.