'Fee-Harvesting' Credit Cards Keep Debt Growing

Unlike most Applied Bank customers, Alvarez and Koslan eventually had all of their fees waived, but not because they asked.

After a producer for ABCNews requested an interview with Abessinio and explained "Good Morning America" might feature the pair in an upcoming segment, Abessinio called Alvarez and her mother.

Koslan says the banker offered her daughter a new Applied Bank card with a lower interest rate and fewer fees. Koslan refused the offer and asked if Abessinio would close the account and absolve the remaining fees if she paid the balance left on the card which represented what Alvarez had borrowed.

Koslan says Abessinio agreed to a final payment of $150. She says Abessinio told her he was "only doing it to get that guy from Good Morning America off [his] back."

With her debt gone, Alvarez is considering returning to school in the summer.

And she and her mother say they have learned a valuable lesson from their experience with a "fee-harvesting" credit card and want to share it with others.

"For somebody that's young and just starting out like Celina or somebody that's in a more unfortunate situation, I would totally discourage them from going this route," Koslan says. "All it does is cause more heartache and more disappointment and more debt."

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