Paying Off Your Debt: One Man's Struggle With Credit Card Debt

John Citrone got out of debt, so can you
John Citrone got out of debt, so can you

It's a familiar time of year for many of us: We're making New Year's resolutions, even as we're getting hit with the annual holiday shopping hangover. Many of us come to the conclusion this month that perhaps we spent a wee bit too much last year on gifts, holiday decorations, eating out with friends and family, and other not-so-necessary expenses.

In the spirit of getting inspired to make some changes in your financial life, we thought we'd take a look at some people across America who've gone from being considered deadbeats to beating debt, people who were once defined by their debt, but are no longer. This is the first story in our series.


John Citrone, 43, came into his debt the way many people his age did: at college. But it wasn't a matter of racking up student debt -- in fact, his parents, hard-working, blue collar folks, paid for his higher education. No, he started traveling down the road to debt a quarter of a century ago when he was an 18-year-old freshman, an architecture major at the University of Florida. During freshman orientation, he encountered some credit card company reps on campus.