Consumer Debt

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DEFINITION of 'Consumer Debt'

Debts that are owed as a result of purchasing goods that are consumable and/or do not appreciate. Possessing high levels of consumer debt is not typically beneficial for the average individual because it increases the strain on one's sources of income to maintain regular payments. If not managed well, consumer debt can lead to bankruptcy.

BREAKING DOWN 'Consumer Debt'

Possessing some consumer debt can be beneficial under certain circumstances, such as debt accrued to buy something that will boost an individual's earning power. For example, financing a car might be a wise idea if the owner needs it to travel to work at a higher-paying job.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Can a debt collector contact me about a debt that's no longer on my credit report?

    According to Experian, a debt collector is permitted to contact a consumer about a debt that is no longer on the consumer's ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are personal loans considered income?

    Personal loans are not considered income for the borrower unless the loan is forgiven. In other words, you cannot be taxed ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are secured personal loans better than unsecured loans?

    Secured loans are better for the borrower than unsecured loans because the loan terms are more agreeable. Often, the interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can personal loans be included in bankruptcy?

    Personal loans from friends, family and employers fall under common categories of debt that can be discharged in the case ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can Sallie Mae loans be consolidated?

    Sallie Mae loans can be consolidated with other federal loans, but not with private loans. For federal loan consolidation, ... Read Full Answer >>
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