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Old 12-01-2018, 11:13 AM
9,259 posts, read 6,188,737 times
Reputation: 17388



If you're like most Americans, debt is an unfortunate fact of life for you, and thinking about how to pay off your debt, oh, sometime in this lifetime, likely occupies a good deal of brain space—and not just when it's time to make another set of new year's resolutions. For some perspective, and to help you feel a little less alone in your debt journey: The average American household owes over $15,000 in credit card debt]), and two-thirds of millennials have at least one source of long-term debt, like student loans (ahem, here's why I can't wait to pay off mine), mortgages, or car payments. But just because debt is normal doesn't mean it feels any less intense, frustrating, scary, or even demoralizing. The good news here is that debt doesn't have to destroy or take over your life. What makes it so intimidating is feeling like you don't understand it or don't have a plan to pay off your debt. The key is to form a plan for how to pay off your debt, take stock of your finances, and really understand what you're working with. Small steps to big results, and all that—and in this case, being strategic and regimented about it can be seriously life-changing. Take things step-by-step to make 2017 the year you finally get a handle on those Sallie Mae or Visa bills. Here's how to get started...
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:19 AM
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,044 posts, read 5,040,659 times
Reputation: 6206
I hate it when they throw in mortgages. You can save for a solid retirement and financial independence and still have a mortgage.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:14 PM
9,973 posts, read 4,581,849 times
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And college debt doesn't make someone financially insecure either...

You think they would be cheering for their $20k jobs without the debt?
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:59 AM
3,913 posts, read 7,961,729 times
Reputation: 1890
Not all debt is bad debt. A 5 year auto loan at 3% interest is not worth paying off early unless you have a huge pile of cash sitting around. You'd be better off riding out the 5 year term provided your other expenses are manageable. Paying it off early saves very little interest and crimps your available cash.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:24 AM
2,670 posts, read 1,708,321 times
Reputation: 5785
Debt has been the single most important thing to set me onto the path towards financial independence someday. My student loan debt created the best income producing asset that I’ll most likely ever have for less than half of the cost of my now yearly salary.

Debt is a tool. If you don’t know how to use it, it abuses you. If you do know how to use leverage intelligently, it’s incredibly powerful. There’s nothing “unfortunate” about debt. In fact,I’m fortunate that so much cheap credit was available to me starting out as a person with no decent income stream and no assets to speak of.

I’ll always have debt, and for good reason.

Last edited by Thatsright19; 12-04-2018 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:25 AM
11,813 posts, read 21,381,718 times
Reputation: 11496
Using average numbers is very misleading. IIRC the median credit card debt is around $2200 and that is the amount that rolls over month to month. I don't remember how many people had month to month debt without paying it off but the % was fairly low. Not some crisis like the media portrays.

There are a few outliers that have significant debt that skew the numbers.
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