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9B --June 6, 1976 Sunday Gazelle-Mail i, VSÂ«st Virginia Women, Men Said Equal Credit Risks By G. David Wallace WASHINGTON (AP) - Women's earn- were surprisingly frank about their inability to assess future income growth and stability for these families," the study said. The researchers found, however, that ing power and income stability make them as good a risk as men when it comes to buying a home, according to a government-sponsored study released Saturday. THE STUDY from the Department of Housing and Urban Development stressed statistically what the law already requires: women should be considered equal to men in granting credit. The study said the importance of statistical backing for the law should not be underestimated. "Lenders and mortgage insuring agencies will remain reluctant to lend to single women or to give full credit to married women's income until these beliefs are debunked by actuarial statistics to the contrary. "Discriminatory practices can easily be masked under the subjective cloak of 'discretion' or 'sound business practices.'" "I think the study's good." said Peter M. Williams, head of the Mortgage Banker Association's management services department. "We're going to publicize it." Quinton Gordon, director for equal opportunity projects in HUD's research office, said Williams' response is typical. "The feedback we've received so far has been enthusiastic," he said. * * + THE KEYSTONE of the study is a new set of actuarial tables designed for use by lenders in ranking women as credit risks in terms of age, education, job tenure and other factors. The ratings would have the effect of ranking women equally with men. The study and the tables were developed under contract to HUD by Ketron Inc.. of Philadelphia and are based on an analysis of the growth and stability of the incomes of a national sample of women aged 30 to 44 from 1966 through 1970. The study was started before passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1975, the bulk of which become effective last October. Other provisions phase in gradually over the next few years. Despite the law. mortgage lenders had been expressing reservations about extending to women underwriting guidelines which originally applied only to men, the study said. Lenders had originally applied tougher credit tests to single women than to single men and had discounted by as much as 50 per cent the earnings of a married woman applying jointly with her husband for a home loan. * * * THE REASONING, explained Williams, was that women were considered generally to be working only until they could find a husband or until they were ready to start a family. The study said industry representatives say they now are prepared to treat the.sin- gle woman, the woman who heads a household or two women living together just as they would treat men in similar circumstances. But "the interviewees repeatedly bemoaned the rising number of two-income families applying for mortgage loans, and differences in family income stability for two wage-earner families were no greater than 10 per cent less than for oneearner families. "Such differences do not statistically support the current underwriting practice," they said. And the study said the findings for married and single women during the late 1960s were conservative, "given changes over the past decade in the social and economic status of women." More recent census bureau and Labor Department studies suggest that "traditional" female work patterns "are gradually being replaced by a consistent pattern which is closer to that of their male coworkers." r The place to vacation this summer. A comfortable drive away (less than five minutes from Interstate 64) is a world of excitement at the 5-Star Greenbrier. 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