Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


An investigation of credit usage among young married couples in western Oregon Public Deposited

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  • This study was designed (1) to examine credit usages as they relate to financial problems of young married couples, (2) to investigate the similarities of financial practices of two populations, (3) to determine the sources of educational financial assistance and guidance used by young couples, and (4) to compare demographic characteristics of one sample known to have had financial difficulties and one group whose financial position was unknown at the time of the interview. The sample consisted of 30 young married couples who were being professionally counseled because of financial problems (group one) and 30 couples selected from a mailing list supplied by the Marion County Extension Service (group two). The total sample was drawn from the Salem, Oregon area. The couples were married at least one year and not more than five years, 11 months and the husbands were no more than 30 years of age. Data for the study were obtained through personal interviews. Hollingshead's Two Factor Index of Social Position, based on education and occupation of the head of household was used to classify the subjects into five social positions, by groups. The distributions for both groups were skewed heavily toward the lower social levels on the scale. The four null hypotheses that were set forth to assist in the organization of data were rejected. H₁ Young married couples in group one wit; show no differences in financial practices from those in group two. H₂ Married couples in group one will possess records with detail no greater than that in records possessed by group two. H₃ Formal educational training will not vary between group one and group two. H₄ Financial counseling sought by young couples will not differ between group one and group two. Analysis of the data indicated that couples in the uncounseled group kept records in a more readily accessable manner; they kept them in ledger or check stub form; and a larger percentage of group two kept track of how they spent their money. A higher number of husbands in group one took complete charge of financial management than the husbands in group two. There were inconsistencies in the responses of the wives in group one. Eighty-seven per cent of the respondents stated that they and their husbands combined their money. However, responses by 40 per cent of the wives in group one indicated that their husbands paid the bills and handled the finances. Couples in both groups used a variety of credit sources. Couples in group one held more credit cards, had a larger number of open charge accounts, more loans from banks and consumer finance companies, as well as a larger number of hospital, doctor and dentists bills than did the couples in group two. Department store and oil company credit cards were the two categories most frequently listed when respondents were asked about credit cards held. Both banks and consumer finance companies loaned to couples in group one, however, the consumer finance company had a higher incidence of repeat loans issued to these young couples than did banks. Ninety per cent of the young couples in the counseled group responded that they were being counseled and looked to the professional counselor for guidance in personal finance. The uncounseled group turned to parents most frequently as sources of information and guidance. Wives in group one perceived themselves as poorer users of credit or just equal when comparing themselves to their peers. It was apparent from this study that young couples feel inadquately prepared for the responsibilities faced in money management during the early years of marriage. With an affluent credit society predicted by many for the future, young people will need to use their total resources of time, energy and income in order to maintain financial solvency. Educators, both adult and secondary along with parents and all others interested in the welfare of families will need to be innovative in communicating sound personal finance principles.
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