Fight credit card debt with better jobs, education | News, Sports, Jobs

Even though the worst of inflation has (we’re told) peaked across the country, the damage continues as many turn to credit cards to pay for even the basics while prices soar. Spending on transportation, food and drink, and housing saw the biggest jumps, according to a report by Upgraded Points, which examined states where inflation is driving increased reliance on credit cards.

In Ohio, inflation means 20.5 percent of adults are increasing their use of credit cards just to survive; 36.2 percent of adults say they rely on credit cards to meet shopping needs; 93.6 percent said they were distressed about the recent price increases; and 95.2 percent said they were concerned about future price increases. (What would it be like for the other 4.8 percent?)

Many who are turning to credit cards to get through these price spikes may believe they have no other choice. They will cut spending as much as they can, but one can only cut too deep when it comes to food, gas, rent/mortgage, and utilities. Now come the consequences, as a fifth of Ohioans have to figure out how to pay down that credit card debt — some of it at outrageous interest rates — while dealing with prices that may have peaked, but haven’t exactly plummeted either.

“While credit cards can help in the short term, they are not without risks: carrying balances or paying them off slowly can lead to paying more in interest,” read the Increased Points report.

Ohioans with the fewest resources to get back on their feet will find themselves saddled with this credit card debt and teetering around long after the national economy has declared our economy healthy and prosperous again. They will still be stuck.

Sound personal fiscal strategies must be paired with the knowledge that local and state officials are working their hardest to improve our educational and employment prospects to increase the number of quality, well-paying jobs available to help families emerge from this cash mess. Otherwise, the debt cycle may claim the next generation.

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