Raise Your Hand If You Have Never Been In Debt

As I click around personal finance blog sites I am always amazed by just how many bloggers are in debt. There are a lot of bloggers that write about how they got into debt, how they plan to get out of debt, what keeps them in debt, etc.

Thanks to the wonderful gift of a college education, (thanks mom and dad), a good job out of college, and a general aversion, (more like a terrifying fear of owing money), I have never been in debt. I have been frugal for just about as long as I can remember. My frugal ways have kept me out of financial trouble even when I was making very little money, and somehow or other I’ve managed to pay my credit card in full every month. For some reason, I’m actually a bit embarrassed to admit that fact. It’s kind of like admitting that you were a straight A student in high school. On one hand I’m extremely proud of the fact, on the other hand I wonder what people will think if they know I’m responsible with my finances.

I know a lot of individuals go into debt for financial hardships. By God’s grace my employer continued to pay my salary when serious medical problems struck me a few years ago. I know that many aren’t as fortunate and I am eternally grateful to my employer for their support. But I wonder how many pf bloggers are in debt for hardships or student loans and how many are in debt for being reckless with their finances.

Since I’ve never been in debt and hope to never be in debt, I never read this articles, but I wonder how many bloggers are in debt, how many have been in debt and are now out of debt, and how many have never been in debt at all. I think the world of personal finance blogs is very interesting. It almost seems like the pf blogging community cannot be a shapshot of the overall population, because by nature we are all writing about money, and just thinking about our finances probably separates us from a good portion of the general population, who we are told save little and spend without much thought.

8 thoughts on “Raise Your Hand If You Have Never Been In Debt”

  1. I’d love to see some facts on this for the overall US population, since I think a lot of conjecture is often thrown around, but I’ve never heard any statistics at least on the blogs I read about what percent of Americans have debt from being irresponsible and how many from other factors. And I think you’re right about pf bloggers not being necessarily the norm.

  2. Good for you! You should be very proud of the fact that you have never been in debt. I have been in debt, deep in debt, and hopefully I never will again! I am so happy that I am no longer in debt, and in a way I don’t feel bad about having been in debt, because it brought me to where I am today in regards the way I handle money, and I wonder, if I had never been in such a heap of debt, would I be as responsible now if I hadn’t learned the hard way? I guess I will never know. But you should definitely be proud of not being in debt or ever having been in debt, great job!

  3. Wow! That’s awesome.

    I know how you feel about being proud but not wanting to talk about it. Only once was I not able to pay off my credit card when it was due (before I had an emergency fund, I took a sudden vacation for a friend’s somewhat sudden destination wedding–but before I accepted, I made sure I could pay it off quickly), and the only other debt I’ve had is two car loans and a college loans–which were paid off within a year by living with my parents after I started my first job. I’m very fortunate I was able to do that–as well as have my parents pay quite a bit of my first two years of schooling. So I’ve never been in deep debt, and I hope other than “good” debt, I never am in debt (debt makes me nervous, so I’m not sure there’s any such thing as good debt!).

  4. The only debt I’ve had is mortgage debt and other forms of leverage. My net worth has been positive since my paper route at age five – with very little help from my parents

  5. M — I tend to agree that the statistics are often inflated. I found the following on CreditCards.com:

    Approximately 40 percent of credit card users paid their balance in full each month in 2006 (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

    The majority of U.S. households have no credit card debt. About a quarter have no credit cards, and an additional 30 percent of households pay off their balances every month. (Source: Federal Reserve)

    One in six families with credit cards pays only the minimum due every month. (Sources: American Bankers Association, Federal Reserve)

    On average, today’s consumers are paying their bills on time, with less than half of all consumers have ever been reported as 30 or more days late on a payment. Only three out of 10 have ever been 60 or more days overdue on any credit obligation. Seventy-seven percent of all consumers have never had a loan or account that was 90+ days overdue, and less than 20 percent have ever had a loan or account closed by the lender due to default. (Source: myfico.com)

    Twenty-nine percent of low and middle income households with credit card debt reported that medical expenses contributed to their current balances. (Source: http://www.demos.org)

  6. I always have to ask whether a primary home mortgage is debt. I used borrowed money to buy something I couldn’t afford otherwise, right? So to me it’s debt. So I have been in debt, and will be for 27 more years at this rate. Otherwise, never. I think it would be near-impossible in the US (unless you rent your whole life) to avoid mortgage debt.

    Good post on a sometimes touchy subject!

  7. I have also never been in debt–until I bought my condo last year. But I’ve never had a car loan, credit card debt, or student loan debt.

    Of course that’s only because I too had a healthy college fund, which I used to pay for college, to pay for a car after college, and even to immediately pay off some credit cards once or twice.

  8. For the record I wasn’t considering my mortgage in this discussion. Primarily, because you usually have to pay for some type of housing and in my eyes a mortgage is good debt. But I do consider a mortgage bad debt if you buy a house you simply cannot afford.

    Also, remember that just because you have a mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you are in debt. I have a mortgage on my home, but I could also liquidate my savings to pay it off, if the need ever arose.


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