Paretta's New Book Motivates Readers to Overcome Debt

Amassing significant credit card debt is as much a behavioral problem as it is financial, suggests adjunct Writing 100 instructor Joe Paretta in his new book Mastering the Card: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt Forever. The book takes a positive, motivational approach to overcoming debt rather than focus strictly on the numbers. "I want people to know there is light at the end of the tunnel," said Paretta, who relies on a conversational tone, personal anecdotes, and humor rather than technical data to encourage readers.

Several years ago Paretta himself felt inundated with credit card debt, before he "finally decided enough was enough, and used self-discipline to climb back out" of the financial hole he had dug for himself.

Paretta wanted to share what he'd learned. "The message is that you have to become your own advocate—consumers have more power in working with credit card companies than they realize.

"It was easy to get the manuscript down on paper once I started writing," he said. The first-time author quickly found a publisher, Balboa Press (a division of Hay House), after contacting the company online. Four months later, the book was in print.

"You have to become your own advocate—consumers have more power in the process of working with credit card companies than they realize."

Paretta offers the following tips for mastering credit card debt:

  1. Get it in writing. Put something on paper and it becomes more meaningful. Take notes when negotiating rates. Journal about your feelings. "If you do this regularly, once or twice a week, you will be encouraged as you see your progress over time."
  2. Recognize your potential. Consider all that you can do when you become debt-free. The money that you have been paying toward interest could instead be used to make a positive difference in the world. "The idea of giving to a worthwhile charity instead of a credit card company is something you can feel good about. It's a shift in emotion from negative to positive."
  3. Give and take. "People in debt often have an impoverished mentality," points out Paretta. "When you begin to pay down your debt, you will feel better about yourself. And others will see you differently. As a result, you will receive more things of higher quality than you did previously."
  4. Look toward the future. When debt free, you can broaden your horizons to pursue your dreams, such as beginning a new career or traveling to new places.

Mastering the Card: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt Forever by Joe Paretta is available at Balboa Press, Barnes & Noble, and