7 On Your Side: Easy ways to dig out of credit card debt

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Nina Pineda has 7 on your Side.

If you're under a mountain of debt, 7 On Your Side has seven fast and easy techniques to dig out.

"I was in my 20's just gotten out of college and was $21,000 in debt," said Beverly Harzog, credit card customer. She had been there and charged that. "I started getting all these offers in the mail, saying you're special, you deserve this and I'm like, yeah I do."

But now the one-time princess of plastic is helping others with her diary of digging out of debt. She recently authored a book, "The Debt Escape Plan."
Strategy 1, she calls "avalanche." That's pay off the card with the highest interest rate first.

"This method saves you the most money. When I was in debt years ago, this is what I did," Harzog said.

Or try her "snowball" method. Pay down the card with the lowest balance.

"This is for someone who still needs that quick emotional boost. You start with the smallest balance of your credit cards," Harzog said.

Ideally, you want to pay off balances each month or get in the habit of paying more than the minimum.

"Do whatever you can, some people get a second job, it's that serious and you can just feel like your drowning," Harzog said.
Don't carry more than 10-percent of your credit limit on your card. Anything higher than 30-percent, she says, triggers a red flag to your lender.

"They could raise your interest rate if they think you suddenly became a big risk." Harzog says it will lower your credit score.

Another way to up your score? Limit the amount of credit cards you have and don't apply for more than one card at a time.

"You apply for all these cards and all of sudden your score drops you into fair credit score territory," Harzog said.

Your APR will go up and you'll pay more in interest every month.

Harzog warns to avoid a common mistake, closing down a credit card will hurt your credit score. Instead keep the cards open, with a very low balance.

Rebuild your score with a secured or authorized user card.

You can use these to establish a pattern of good credit use.

Beware of predatory lenders if you get into debt.

Predatory lenders can smell the desperation, you will get targeted with offers for new credit.

Don't get slammed with huge monthly or annual fees, read the fine print. These could wind up digging your debt hole even deeper.

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Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!



Send us your questions, issues, and story ideas to by filling out the form above, by emailing 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com, or contact Nina on her Facebook page or tweet her at Twitter @7OnYourSideNY! You can also call the 7 On Your Side Hotline at 917-260-7697.

Related Topics:
finance7 On Your Sidecredit cards
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