Probably the case for households that are at, or below $100K in annual income... But, for those who make decent money, taking a loan that you CAN and WILL pay off isn't necessarily a BAD thing. I don't have any debt that I couldn't just pay off today if I wanted to, but, I was advised by my financial advisor/BK lawyer friends to take on SOME debt... Those loans are just paid out of a separate account that I have set aside to pay off debt. My interest rates are so low, they're hardly noticeable. I think I pay 1.4% on my car's loan...? That's nothing. The real hindrance, financially from it, is the requirement to get full coverage insurance (which I would've anyway). I think your generalizations about people not paying cash forward, again, is mostly applicable to people who are at or below the average income levels.