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How consumers see debt can change

There are those who say that all debt is negative, but that's not actually how most consumers view it. They see both positives and negatives, and it depends largely on the type of debt. The amount matters, as well, but the type is the critical factor.

For example, credit cards are extensively used in the United States, but people tend to look at them as negative examples of debt. Even if they feel like it's necessary, they wish they could pay it off. On the other side of the coin, most people who have home mortgages do not think of them as negative debt, but "as a positive investment." Even though many will wind up paying twice as much for the home as they would have without the loan, they still see this as positive debt due to the direct impact on their lives.

These things do shift over time as perceptions change. Student loans are an excellent example. They were once viewed as a positive investment, like a mortgage. More and more often, though, people see them as negative debts. Part of the reason is that the cost of education keeps going up, so people are finding themselves in far more debt in 2019 than they would have seen 50 years ago.

No matter what type of debt you have, it can get out of control as you pile more and more types on top of one another. All debt feels negative when you reach this critical point. It's important to know what options you can make use of, such as debt consolidation.

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