Credit card debt is tough to avoid: Americans accumulated $18.4 billion in new debt in the second quarter -- 66% more than the year-ago period, according to a recent report. We received an email from a reader who owes $20,000 on her cards, and spends a third of her income on those payments. Credit expert John Ulzheimer offers a legitimate method for her to reduce monthly costs and get out of the red.

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Big John

I have a novel idea, quit charging and pay for what you can afford. Tell friends and family you are going to skip this Christmas except for cards and get out of debt and stay out of debt. Yes it is hard to do but the benefits are amazing.

September 23 2011 at 3:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Wrong, she should just do what he said, by herself. If she use's a company, and they don't send in the payment on time, it's her credit that takes the hit. Why let someone do something, that you can do yourself?

September 23 2011 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hello's comment
John Ulzheimer

You can't. The card issuers won't lower the rates if you do it on your own.

September 23 2011 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Credit card use is simple for those who understand that a person should live withing their means and that means taking card of mandatory things and letting the WANTS alone if one can't afford them. If you use a credit card, pay it off every month and save the interest, which is so high a person never pays off the card. I think the words COMMON SENSE make the difference when using a credit card and also when using ones money. Oh well, what do I know, I just do what I suggested above and don't have any problems.

September 23 2011 at 2:45 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Call Ghostbusters?

September 22 2011 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cut them up and pay them off? That is what a normal person would do if they were spending too much on credit and couldn't' pay the bills.

We need to evict the Democrats in teh senate and get rid of the Jive Turkey President we have in order to get them to stop spending, burring us in debt and taxing us to death. It is the only way to get this national socialist disease, that is worse than cancer, under control.

September 22 2011 at 5:28 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dabrownman's comment

Well lets see taxes are the lowest in thirty years. The GOP refuses to extend the middle-class tax cuts which are about to expire but refuses to tax the rich obviously due to all the jobs they created. Get rid of all those nitwit tea-bagger extremists and work on solving Americas problems These radicals are so hell bent on Obama not getting re-elected they will stoop to any low they have too. Its about the economy stupid and America forget the partisan politics and extremist ideology. God Bless America. Wake up and do something for the country.

September 22 2011 at 7:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wpbjr2150's comment

Actually tax receipts are very high, nearly records and during a recession too, Sadly, lefties spend a trillion and a half more than we take in adnd would do so no matter how much we took in,. We donlt have a revenue problem. We take in more tax money than any country on earth by far. Bur lefties spend 40% more than that in a good year. Spending is the only thing they are good at besides being slave masters over the minorities and women that they swill their ideological socialist garbage too.

September 22 2011 at 8:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

When you are in debt management, you don't pay the entire amount. You pay about half and the other half you have to claim on your taxes as income. I don't think many people know that.

September 22 2011 at 4:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

He says nothing about the credit counseling fees.

September 22 2011 at 3:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nxston08's comment
John Ulzheimer

They're about $50 per month, which is peanuts compared to the amount you'll save in interest, late fees and negative credit reporting.

September 23 2011 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is probably the biggest reason Republicans want to protect their tax cuts so to keep paying interest rates to their credit card companies....

September 22 2011 at 2:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

rule no. 1 cancel the credit card and ONLY buy what you can pay for at time of purchase

September 22 2011 at 1:04 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to garykading's comment

The reality is that we can no longer pay for goods with only cash. We live in a borrowed world. For example I live in Northern part of New Jersey and even though I make more than three times the minimum wage which stands at $7.25 I believe, I still struggle with paying bills. It is extremely expensive and over-priced to live here, so I personally can say that I need credit to live off of. Although my pay is higher than most individuals who are under the age of 21 (yes I am 21), the issue becomes more money = more problems/bills/debt etc. In addition to that, I haven't even made mention of the younger adults who are in their 20's who have not built any credit and we are FORCED to get credit cards with low balances and high interest rates. But even if we dont want a credit card, we still need one so that we can show our creditors that we can actually afford to pay our bills on time every month. The whole system is screwed unfortunately and it's rare for us, the people to win.

September 26 2011 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply