ANSWERS: 5
  • My best guess is that creditors have been more lenient than they have in the past and it is not as private a subject as it once was. I don't know how people get that way as I am not one of them. I live within my means and have a no cash, no buy policy. I even pay for my cars in cash. The only debt I have is a mortgage and I pay off my credit cards every month. A lot of people do not live within their means though. It's ridiculous. Excellent questions.
  • Quite true. Too many Americans are caught up in the rat race - trying to keep up with the Joneses - keeping up appearances that they are living the good life, that they are making it, that they are better off than they really are. They are LIARS and the very cause of the economic problems in this country today. They are the ones with the overvalued mortgage, driving their gas guzzling SUV's and buying everything China can export via Walmart and Target.
  • Some people these days are in such a big hurry to have it all "now." I know some younger people who will be in debt all their lives, living on their overdraft and credit cards.
  • I have to say that I take STRONG objection to the tone of this question. As someone that is IN a massive debt, I can tell you that yes, I lived within my means. Then I got injured, and my insurance decided not to cover an MRI, physical therapy, or an X-ray. THAT put me over $5,000 in debt. At $8.00 an hour, I did not have much savings. As someone that was a temp (same job for 3 years, just not hired), I did not have retirement. THEN the auto industry hit the skids, and I lost my job due to cutbacks. Along with several hundred others in and around my hometown. I couldn't find another. THEN I injured my knee. I had NO insurance, so went further in debt, trying to care for it. Now, here I sit. I have a knee who's kneecap dislocates every time I move it. I have a torn ligament. I NEED a knee replacement. I also have no job. Hard to get one when you are not considered disabled, yet cannot walk much, cannot stand for long periods, cannot bend over, and sitting for long in 1 position is painful. I've amassed over $10,000 in credit card debts, paying bills. My medical bills have soared to over $9,000. I go to the state for help, and am told, sorry, if you are able to work, we can't help you. Yet to get disability in this country usually means a legal battle (I have a sister doing that, now).So I, while 'living within my means', have amassed a MASSIVE debt due to circumstances I can't control. And can't seem to fix. I can't even afford the lawyer to declare bankruptcy.
  • People are in debt because the American Way is to own things. As a culture and society, we are very focused on materialism, and the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality. We feel worthless or guilty or ashamed if we can't buy the new car, the big-screen TV, etc. People gladly put themselves into debt for toys and gadgets and vacations etc. that they DON'T NEED. Another reason is predatory lending practices in the credit card and real estate financing industries. I'm not blaming creditors for the stupidity and gullibility of their customers though. People receive a great-sounding credit card offer in the mail, with low interest rates. Miss one payment, though, and the interest rate usually skyrockets. I've had credit cards with interest rates around 30% in my younger and stupider days. Now I am working on getting out of debt from student loans, and unfortunately an emergency last year that forced me to buy a car I couldn't really afford. Anyway, that's the way I see it.

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