UPDATE: Getting Out of Credit Card Debt

T’is a pity for the flower of youth to be wrinkled by the radioactive belch of credit card debt. Yesterday, we asked the readers about how college boy L.S. should get out of his $2150 in credit card debt set at exorbitant rates and here’s what we think he should do.

First, cut up the cards. Adopting a “cash on the barrelhead,” and “If I can’t buy it, I don’t need it” policy early in life will get you far. Maybe not behind the wheel of Ferrari but at least not under its wheel after throwing yourself in front to escape the vertiginous spiral of collection agencies.

Secondly, find a way to dig the seed of this debt wart out by the roots. Ask for parents to pay off debt with a zero interest loan. If they say no, get a student loan for the amount necessary. Either way, the interest will be cheaper. Ask around the student financial aid office. At our college, they gave a $2500 “laptop” loan very easily. There should at least be Stafford loans readily available.

These sound preferable to the CapitolOne “Smartswitch” program you were asking about as they deal with the essential problem (debt at high interest rates) instead of just passing your ankles around.