JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A free financial seminar going on in Region 8 is aimed at helping people understand credit and debt management.
Attendee Charles Smythe said he is in the process of rebuilding financially."I've gone through a lot of major medical issues. I had cancer five years ago. I survived it, but at the same time I've gone through some job issues."
"When you're going through job changes, you're going through financial changes."
The free seminar, "Credit Scores and Debt Management 101", was held at Allen Park Community Center on Race Street Sunday evening from 4p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
"We can't do things that we hadn't been taught to do. We're not born financially literate," said class instructor Johnny Moore, Jr.
Moore said he is heading the seminar in hopes of spreading information he wishes he and his wife Marie had known early in their marriage.
"No one taught us about having good scores and if you have higher scores that you're going to get lower interest rates on your purchases. So once we started studying it and realizing how it impacted us financially, then I wanted to share this information with everybody that I could."
A May 2012 report released by the Consumer Federation of America revealed consumers know more about credit scores than they did in 2011, but few know how damaging low scores can be to a financial reputation.
Moore believes the empty chairs in the classroom are part of the reason people are financially illiterate.
"Looking at the attendance on today, we have one couple here. Two people," he said. "Education is the key."
Moore started the class with teenagers and young adults in mind, but he encourages anyone who wants to work towards financial literacy and stable credit to attend.
"The majority of (teenagers and young adults) do not know their credit scores, don't know what's on their credit reports."
The next seminar will be held Sunday, September 9 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.