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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1942. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1942, the author. Used by permission.


This investigation has been undertaken to determine the credit problems of Lincoln, Nebraska, families with the following objectives in mind:

(1) to learn more of credit practices of urban families with respect to type used, frequency of use and articles purchased with credit,

(2) to survey attitudes and desires of urban families concerning the use of credit, and

(3) to discover possible, characteristic differences in the use of credit by urban families varying in income level.

In undertaking this study it was hoped that suggestions could be made relative to credit practices of urban families in specific income groups and that information concerning their credit needs could be made available to persons concerned with guiding family financial management and to agencies granting credit.

Information concerning credit problems of Lincoln, Nebraska, families was obtained by personal interviews with 112 homemakers through a stratified-random, house-to-house sampling. The city was divided into four areas with O Street, the main business thoroughfare, serving as the east-west dividing line. The twenty-eight families interviewed in each city area were equally represented among the following income levels: I. Under $1,000, II. $1,000-$1,999, III. $2,000-$2,999, IV. $3,000- or over.

Most interviews were made of the homemaker only but in a few instances both husband and wife gave information. Since interviews were made between the hours of 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. homemakers gainfully employed during the day were excluded. Many homemakers felt that they could not help because of lack of information or unwillingness to cooperate.

Personal interviews of about forty minutes duration were held between December 1, 1941 and March 25, 1942. The purpose and scope of the study was discussed before the schedule was filled out. During the ensuing conversation the interviewer filled out the schedule. Each schedule was identified by a code number and emphasis was given that the information was strictly confidential.

Three schedules were used to secure the desired information. Schedule “I” covered general information about family size and composition, other persons living in the home, annual money income, supplementary income, health, education, occupation, housing status and years the family had lived in Lincoln. Schedule “II” was a credit inventory which listed items purchased for the home, whether or not purchase had been made in the last ten years, terms of purchase and credit practices. Schedule “III” was a questionnaire concerning opinions and desires relative to family use of credit. Advisor: Margaret I. Liston