Earlier this week I went to the credit union and paid the remaining $4.02 on my 2006 Honda Civic. The teller who helped me was very kind. She also let me know I was prequalified for a new auto loan. I said I was content with the car I own and grateful to have no more debt.
I bought my used Honda a few years back after the 1990s Mazda 929 finally became too unreliable. At the time, I did not have enough cash to buy the Honda outright and so got a small loan. I still can recall how the person who helped me was surprised at how little I wanted to borrow. She told me I qualified for a lot more and could get a nicer car. I said I was content with the used Honda and preferred to keep my debt as low as possible.
Our economy does not treat everyone equally. There are people who cannot walk into a credit union and get an auto loan. But for those of us who can, the economy encourages us the same way. It encourages us to extend ourselves as much as possible. Borrow as much as a creditor will offer. Buy as much as the debt will purchase.
For many of us, the financial limits we live within are the ones we self-impose.