Your Mortgage Is Debt, Too!

I see it all over the place.  On TV.  On blogs.  In news articles.  It doesn’t matter.

When talking about debt, mortgages seem to get glossed over.  The focus always seems to be on ‘non-mortgage debt’.

While this is good, the fact remains that you still owe on your mortgage.  It’s still debt.  And, chances are, for most that have a mortgage, it’s the biggest debt and/or the biggest monthly payment that you have associated with debt.

So, why might mortgages get ‘left out’ of the debt discussion?  Just speculating here:

  • Backed by an asset – Up until the last few years, it was a pretty safe bet that most mortgages had an asset behind them, so you could kinda sorta see how it wouldn’t get looked at as the same type of debt as other things that aren’t asset based.  Most people (and banks too) figured that the house could always be sold and that could make the debt go away.  With so many people underwater these days, that’s really not the case anymore, but the old mentality seems to have stuck.
  • It would make a BIG BIG number even BIGGER – We talk about the debt in America in the trillions.  It’s already an overwhelming number.  To add in the collective mortgage balance would make it an astronomical number.

Personally, when I look at our debt, the mortgage is included.  Why?  Because it’s a debt!  Plain and simple, it’s a loan that we took out and have to pay back, and if that’s not the way to define a debt, then I need a new dictionary!

How do you look at mortgage debt in the ‘how much debt do I have’ discussion, and what other reasons might there be for not including it in the debt totals other than what I’ve listed above?

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The Downside Of Paying Down Debt

Last month, we were able to pay down a very big chunk of student loan debt as a result of using a portion of our tax refund and a small inheritance that I received.

These were two decent size chunks of money, that when it added together, allowed us to eliminate about 25% of the student loan debt in one fell swoop!

That was awesome but as it turns out, there’s a (tiny) downside.

What could that be?

Well, it’s that it created such a ‘high’, that the return to normal debt payments is sort of a letdown.

This month, we paid off the normal amounts as is typical for a standard month. Because we paid off so much, we paid less interest and more towards principal, but overall, it just doesn’t generate the same rush.

So, the moral of the story is that while ordinary is good (and I’m not complaining), the rush generated by the bigger chunk payments is exhilarating.

All the more motivation to search for ways to find extra bucks.  For a drug addict, this would be bad because it would be ‘chasing the high’, but since we’re talking about debt payment, this is one rush that I don’t mind chasing!  Especially if it leads to us knocking chunks off our debt outside of the standard monthly payments.

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