Why pay off debt at all?

Reflection | Assignment 7 | GB 123: Be Debt Free

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Nowadays, debt is commonplace. Everyone seems to have it, so it feels normal. When it comes to large purchases, what doesn’t feel normal is buying something with cash.

Debt has been sold to us as the norm for so long that it often takes a pretty dramatic wakeup call to shake us back to reality. And that reality is that buying things now with expected future income isn’t always what’s best for us. For Karisa, that wakeup call was getting that surprise student loan in the mail. For you, it may have been something else. 

But if debt really is the status quo, and if everyone has it, then why pay it off at all? Isn’t it fine to just stay in debt forever?

That’s what we want to get into a bit more today. 

But before we do that, here’s a recap of where you are on your debt journey.

Let’s dive into today’s topic!


Back before Karisa started paying off her debt—way before she had her wakeup call and when she was 40K in the red—she would have said that her “plan” was to be in debt forever. 

To her, it didn’t make sense to pay back debt when you could just pay the minimums on everything. By doing this, she could buy what she wanted on credit, even if she couldn’t really afford it, and then pay a small monthly fee to keep those items. Plus, by only paying the minimums, her checking and savings accounts could be a little fuller.

It’s obvious to Karisa now that that plan wouldn’t have worked long term. Her buy now, pay later lifestyle would have caught up to her, and arguably, it already had. 

It took getting a surprise bill in the mail to finally get her to realize that her plan of carrying debt indefinitely wasn’t a wise financial plan at all. While Karisa liked to assume that the future income she planned to use to pay on that debt was going to last forever, the truth is, nothing is ever a guarantee. 

And, because of that wakeup call, she realized she didn’t want to just get by, she wanted to “flourish financially.”

“This surprise bill really shook me! It made me think about what else could be out there that I don’t know about. It made me start thinking about the way I was living my life, and made me question whether or not living with debt and only paying the minimums was actually working. And I realized that I actually didn’t want to live with that kind of instability. Instead, I wanted to flourish financially.”


Now it’s your turn. You may have had a wakeup call that encouraged you to re-evaluate your relationship with debt, just like Karisa did. And since you’re here, it’s likely that your feelings about debt changed as a result of that reevaluation. 

We want to know: How do you feel about debt now? Is it normal? If so, is that a good thing or a bad thing? How have your thoughts changed since you’ve started paying off debt?

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1 thought on “Why pay off debt at all?”

  1. I used to be very uncomfortable with any kind of debt, but over time I’ve become more comfortable with debt in certain situations – specifically when it’s related to an investment with a good chance of improved returns over time.


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