Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors



First Advisor

Jane Knodell


Credit, Banking, Lending


This thesis examines rural Vermont’s access to credit in the context of historical bank consolidation and in the wake of the subprime crisis. For the purposes of this study, “rural” is defined using Rural-Urban Commuting Codes, calculated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Access to credit is measured by proximity to lenders regulated by the Community Reinvestment Act or to credit unions, as well as by loan application outcomes, specifically loan origination and denial rates. Proximity to a regulated lender is measured by people per depository institution, a metric created by the author, and is compared over a forty-year span between 1980 and 2020. Loan application outcomes are measured from Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, using loan origination and denial rates by census tract in 2007 and 2017. These years were chosen in order to compare loan application outcomes immediately before the subprime crisis and in the decade which followed. The metrics calculated are then compared in rural parts of the state to the rest of Vermont. A regression analysis is also included which regresses loan application outcomes against a census tract’s status as rural, as well as other factors which could contribute to its loan application outcomes. Ultimately, this study found that rural parts of the state have reduced access to CRA-regulated lending institutions and credit unions, have lower loan origination rates, and have higher loan denial rates. These indicate a relative lack of access to credit in rural Vermont.