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Controlling Credit Card Debt: Pay it off faster for less money

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Melanie West didn't understand why her credit card interest rate suddenly jumped from 10% to 15%. 

"I knew that I had good credit and wanted to get a better interest rate," she said. 

She went to see Therese at the Virginia Credit Union. Therese had a solution that helped Melanie gain control of her debt. 

"I was able to get a personal loan through the Virginia Credit Union for 9.49%," Melanie said. 

Which was less than the original interest rate on the credit card. She rolled her other credit card balances into that loan. But the help didn't end there. Therese explained that Melanie could refinance her car loan at a reduced rate. 

"They're saving me 100's if not 1000's of dollars over the life of my loan," Melanie said. 

"That's money that you can have in your pocket for the basic expenses of life or direct to other debt you have, it can really help you get ahead," said Glenn Birch with the Virginia Credit Union. 

The Virginia Credit Union has the tools to help consumers pay down their debt quicker. 

"There are lots of things that you can do, but looking at it holistically, really being intentional about it is important," added Birch. 

Next week, the Virginia Credit Union will host a free seminar for the public, teaching you what can be done to manage debt. 

"Giving them the tools so that they can make good decisions about their finances, helping them create a budget, helping them know how to save," he said. 

Melanie will use the extra funds to pay her son's tuition and medical bills from a recent surgery. 

"My mom will tell you that she's happy that she doesn't have to help me out," said Melanie. 

Virginia Credit Union will offer the "Eliminating Debt" seminar on Wednesday, January 11, from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. It will be held at Virginia Credit Union in the Boulders Office Park. To register for the free seminar call 323-6800 or click here.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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