Interview with Debt Expert Larry Winget

Susan Weber
Larry Winget, Author, Professional Speaker, Television Host

If you need help in meeting your goal of "managing my debt", you might find Larry Winget's information, approach and practical tips to be just what you need to hear. Larry Winget is known for his plain talk and simple solutions to personal money management and the way he challenges people to correct their financial mistakes. He is the author of several books including You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead, a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller. He is also the host of the A&E television network hit series Big Spender, a reality show about getting couples out of debt from credit card spending. He has proclaimed himself as "The Pitbull of Personal Development."

Interview with Larry Winget, bestselling author, lecturer and host of "Big Spender"

How does a cardholder know if they have a credit card "debt problem?"

You know if you have a credit card problem if you owe more than you can pay off in sixty days. That's too much debt to have on a credit card. And if you have trouble paying your credit card bills, you have a problem. If you use your credit cards out of need instead of convenience, you have a problem.

Should a cardholder take advantage of balance transfers to cards with a low or 0% APR?

Yes. But understand that those balance transfers have fine print. Read the fine print. You have a limited amount of time to enjoy that low interest rate. Use that time to pay off your balance, not to think you have a free ride to increase your balance.

What are the pros and cons of consolidating credit card debt with a line of credit?

The pro is that it gives you one payment instead of many to make. This can be a real advantage psychologically. The fewer the payments you have to make, the more you can concentrate on paying it off. And you can probably consolidate at a lower interest rate than your current credit card rate.

The con is that when people who have credit problems consolidate their cards and other debts into one payment, they often go right back out and charge up their cards again. This leaves them with even more of a credit problem. Once you consolidate, cut up the cards!!

What should a cardholder do if they forget to pay their credit card payment on time?

You can call your credit card company, but that probably won't fix anything. You have made a mistake, and now you are going to pay dearly for being forgetful.

What should a cardholder do if they don't have the funds to pay their credit card bill?

Feel bad for being so irresponsible that you find yourself in that position. Then get on the phone and talk to your credit card company. Then sell some of the crap you bought with credit card to come up with the money to make the payment.

Should a cardholder close a credit card account after they pay off the balance?

You should if you have more than one card for emergencies. If you have several cards, close them. It won't do your credit score any good to close accounts, but it's not doing your credit score any good to have cards you can't pay. Besides, credit cards are temptations to spend money you don't have. Cut 'em up - close 'em out.

What are three key tips to managing my debt - particularly credit card debt?

  1. If you can't afford to pay cash, don't charge it. Credit cards are primarily for convenience, not a way to finance your life.
  2. Never charge more than you can pay off in a sixty day period.
  3. Never be late. You signed a contract with your credit card company that you would pay on time. If you break that contract, your interest rate can explode. It's the interest that will bite you in the butt in the long run.

More Help from LoveToKnow Credit Cards

There is a large selection of articles on LoveToKnow Credit Cards with additional information to help you implement the tips from Expert Larry Winget. Meet your goal of "managing my debt" with the practical ideas included in these articles:

Interview with Debt Expert Larry Winget