A Penn Forest man who wrote a book about getting out of credit card debt was the guest speaker for the Lehighton Area Council of the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce mixer and meeting held recently at Platz's Restaurant.

Joe Paretta wrote "Master the Card: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt Forever," after he felt overwhelmed by credit card debt and decided to do something about it. Paretta said his book guides people to become debt free with personality.

"I decided to lead by example," he said. "The key to becoming debt free is to realize there is a problem."

Paretta said credit card interest rates make it difficult to pay off cards, but that it can be done.

"Realizing that you have an addiction to credit cards is the first step," he said. "I finally have a better life because my cards are paid off. You have to change your way of thinking and not swipe every time you want something."

Paretta called his book a labor of love that once he started writing it, that it actually wrote itself.

After realizing there is a problem with credit cards, he said the first step is to write down every purchase for several weeks to see your pattern. The it's important to start paying off the smallest card and then using that money to pay off the next smallest card.

"That helps you celebrate your small victories," he said.

Paretta noted that getting out of credit card debt is a long process, but that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Following the presentation, Paretta fielded several specific credit card issues from the audience.

Jack Sturm, board member, was master of ceremonies and Earl Schneider, chaired the event.

Schneider noted that Lehighton Area Council is planning to hold a mixer at 5 p.m. June 14 at the Phifer Ice Dam Park pavilion. It will be a covered dish event, with the council providing hamburgers and hot dogs.

For information, contact the office at 610-377-2191.