Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Difference Between Good Debt and Bad Debt

More on debt. There is good debt and there is bad debt. Several readers emailed me again recently to ask for more on this. I will try to put it even more simply . . .

Good debt is debt that you do NOT have to pay back. Others pay it for you (mortgage on investment property).

Bad debt is is debt that you rack up and have to pay back yourself. Consumer debt such as credit cards and car payments.

There is a book I highly recommend. Entitled (ironically) Good Debt, Bad Debt: Knowing the Difference Can Save Your Financial Life, this book by real estate agent Jon Hanson is a great read. He does not do much brokerage these days, but travel quite a bit teaching people the benefits of money management, understanding good and bad debt, and most importantly, teaching young people about money in an environment where they are wooed by TV ads, text messages on their cell phones, and massive piles of junk mail telling them how easy it is to get a credit card.

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