SAN ANGELO, Texas — With inflation skyrocketing in the past year, reports show low-and-middle income families are turning to credit cards to get by. Experts say it's important to use credit cards wisely.
In the Concho Valley, a workshop happened March 9 to teach the community all things credit.
With a simple swipe, just about anything can be purchased on a credit card. However, when those balances continue to rise and interest starts to add up, the trouble begins.
“Credit cards are the basically the number one way to increase your credit and... very quickly to destroy your credit as well," Galilee CDC New Home Coordinator, Emily Lloyd said.
"So you have to be very disciplined, very mindful and very careful with credit cards because they are a very high interest rate typically. I think some of the cards recently have been in the 30 percent," she said.
Lloyd works with Galilee Community Development Corporation in San Angelo. They help families find a path to owning a home and part of that journey is financial literacy.
“The very first thing is to create a budget and look over what all you spend and what ways can you reduce your spending, increase your income and then start paying additional towards your debt to get that pay down,” Lloyd said.
Part of the journey to owning a home is understanding how credit works.
“So 35 percent of your credit score is based off of on time payments. So just start paying all of your bills on time and that will really increase and help,” Lloyd said.
On March 9, Galilee CDC held one of several workshops planned for the community. The workshop covered everything there is to know about building or rebuilding credit.
“We talk about everything credit, so we talk about what is in a credit report and how to obtain a free credit report," Lloyd said.
"We also talk about how everything combined makes up your credit score and how it can be affected in different ways so how much debt you go into, credit utilization all of that rolls in and plays a huge important part of that."
To learn of upcoming workshops follow their Facebook page at facebook.com/GalileeCDC