Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Cecil E. Carter Jr., LaVerne Farmer


The purpose of this study was to secure information which would be helpful in planning Extension educational programs on consumer credit for Anderson County Home Demonstration Club members and nonmembers. Home demonstration club members and nonmembers were compared for the purpose of (1) characterizing them; (2) determining which recommended consumer credit practices they were using; and (3) identifying some of the factors that influenced them to adopt or reject the practices. The population included 471 Anderson County, Tennessee Home Demon-stration Club members and their friends who were nonmembers. Data were secured from 30 Anderson County Home Demonstration Club Council members who were present at their regularly scheduled quarterly meeting and 30 of their nonmember friends. Each member participating in the survey listed the name and address of a friend who does not belong to a Home Demonstra-tion Club. Comparisons were made between Home Demonstration Cliab members and nonmembers in an effort to identify group differences. Findings re-lated to the total group interviewed also were studied. Major findings of the study were: 1. The majority of all interviewees (88 percent) were homeowners. A larger percent of the HDC members (97 percent) than the nonmembers (80 percent) owned their homes. 2. Twenty-eight percent of all interviewees worked outside the home including one-half of the nonmembers (50 percent) and 6 percent of the HDC members. 3. Approximately two-thirds of all interviewees (70 percent) owned credit cards. A slightly larger percentage of HDC mem-bers (73 percent) than the nonmembers (67 percent) owned credit cards. Most respondents who owned credit cards had only one (28 percent) and those with two (18 percent) ranked second. 4. Sixty-three percent of the total interviewees had used credit in the past 60 months; while 75 percent of all respondents had used credit in the past 12 months. 5. Three-fourths of all the interviewees (75 percent) had secured a loan from an agency or individual. Fewer of the respondents (57 percent) had secured a loan from an agency or individual in the past 60 months. 6. Most of the interviewees (87 percent) indicated that their family was not overusing credit; however, most of the respon-dents (83 percent) considered overuse of credit to be a pr- blem among families in Anderson County. 7. The average diffusion ratings of the HDC members exceeded those of the nonmembers on all of the 17 recommended consumer credit practices. 8. University bulletins (48 percent), commercial bulletins (42 percent), and magazines (42 percent) were the major sources used by all respondents to secure information on consumer credit. 9. Almost one-half of all interviewees (48 percent) were not seeking advice from anyone concerning the wise use of credit. When respondents did seek advice about credit, it was most frequently from a friend or neighbor (28 percent). 10. Three-fourths of all interviewees (75 percent) felt that most families in Anderson County were not informed on the wise use of credit. 11. The majority of all interviewees (70 percent) were interested in attending one or more meetings on consumer credit. Implications and recommendations also were made.

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