Is Treating Debt Repayment Like a Game the Only Way to Win?
Megan Reynolds
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Debt isn’t debt, though. If you have 30k in student loan debt, it’s yours for life. If you have 30k in credit card debt, you can discharge it through bankruptcy. If you have a mortgage for 250k, you can deduct the interest on your taxes (also true of student loan debt, though there’s a cap.) Not true for an auto loan (even though many people need a car just as much as they need a house.) I feel better about having carrying a auto loan than I did about having student loan debt, because if I screw up on my car loan, I’m the only one who suffers. If I had screwed up my student loan, my parents (as cosigners) were on the hook for it.

All debt limits your options in some way, because it ties up your future earnings. In that way, all debt is bad debt. But the returns on some debts can be good: a business loan, student loans (subject to normal caveats), etc. My car allows me to get to work, which is how I make money, so I’m fine with that return on investment. (I am sure my boss also appreciates it that I show up on a regular basis.)

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