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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.

One Frugal Girl

Tuesday 30th of October 2007

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.

MEG

Tuesday 30th of October 2007

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.

Brip Blap

Tuesday 30th of October 2007

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!

One Frugal Girl

Wednesday 24th of October 2007

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: www.demos.org)

Lazy Man and Money

Wednesday 24th of October 2007

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