No debt, except for...

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No debt, except for...

Postby nimo956 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:42 pm

This is just a random observation, but have you ever noticed how posters asking portfolio questions use the phrase:

No debt, except for $1m mortgage, 2 $40k car loans, and $100k student loans

Perhaps that's exaggerated, but I wonder why people choose that phrasing rather than saying, "I have $X mortgage debt and $X car debt?" Could it be because they don't really view this a "debt?" In other words, these aren't payday loans or credit card debt, so it's okay?

I get the sense that many people have become very comfortable holding a significant amount of debt as long as it's a certain kind of debt. It's kind of like how 100% of posters report their job as stable.
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Re: No debt, except for...

Postby bloom2708 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:52 pm

Are a mortgage, 1-2 car loans and student loans "de facto" loans? Normal and expected.

I can have those 3 types and be "normal".

You can still see there are different camps as to whether debt should be paid off or encouraged. Lots of different ways to skin a cat.

I'm in the "no debt is good" category. :twisted:
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Re: No debt, except for...

Postby Chan_va » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:01 pm

I agree with your general sentiment about debt reduction and buying too much house. However, mortgages are a special kind of debt. Where else can you get a subsidized, 30 year, fixed rate, low interest loan? Not to mention - it's an inflation hedge.

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Re: No debt, except for...

Postby The Wizard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:14 pm

Random observations aren't generally allowed for new topics here, so careful with that.
And no, I don't see that terminology used on Bogleheads too often.
I think most posters acknowledge their debts straightforwardly.

Having said that, certain kinds of debt are toxic and should be totally avoided.
Other types of debt are marginally necessary for some working people in their younger years.
It's good if one can outgrow the need to carry debt by middle age...
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Re: No debt, except for...

Postby mister37 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:19 pm

I think debt is debt, is debt. If you owe someone, you are in debt. That said, when we start to talk about paying off debt, then I could approach them a little differently, looking at types of debt, interest rates. I agree that a certain type of debt is acceptable to many people, but I think that lifestyle creep has something to do with it also.

Full disclosure: We don't have any debt except :wink: ......a 0% 60 month car loan
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Re: No debt, except for...

Postby jf89 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:35 pm

I always laugh about this when I read it, and I'm so glad somebody else notices, too! If you haven't noticed this regularly, be prepared to see it daily. "I'm debt free... except that 1/4 million dollar house I won't own for 29 years."

Mortgages and car loans are just expected for adults. Credit cards, personal loans, student loans, etc... are not as regular, so I think posters mentally put those into a different category. But as long as they list that mortgage as a debt, there's really no problem except for semantics.

I think the way this "random observation" is actionable, is to make others aware that no matter how "normal" it is that you have a particular type of debt, it is still a debt to be considered along with the rest of them.
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Re: No debt, except for...

Postby mptfan » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:44 pm

nimo956 wrote:This is just a random observation, but have you ever noticed how posters asking portfolio questions use the phrase:

No debt, except for $1m mortgage, 2 $40k car loans, and $100k student loans

I have noticed the same thing, and this is one of my pet peeves as well. I agree that your example is exaggerated, the most common use of the phrase is "I am debt free except for my mortgage." Debt it debt, and you are either debt free or you are not.

Even worse than that is when someone says "We have finally paid off all of our debts, the only thing we have left is our mortgage."
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Re: No debt, except for...

Postby LadyGeek » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:39 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (stupidity of other people). As a reminder, see: Unacceptable Topics

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