Don’t Just Pay Off Debt, Make it Pay Off For You

Jenny Whichello, Bliss + Wealth
3 min readJan 19, 2024

We’ve all been told the mantra: you must pay off debt, it’s bad. Avoid it like the plague, live frugally, and watch your nest egg grow slowly at best. But step into the rarified air of the ultra-wealthy, and you’ll find a vastly different relationship with debt. It’s not a dirty word, it’s a tool. A powerful, well-oiled, wealth-generating machine. Forget the “debt-free hero” narrative; let’s talk about how the titans leverage leverage to reach stratospheric heights.

Shattering the Myths about Debt:

Myth #1: Debt shackles you. Not always. With intention and long-term strategy, mortgages or business loans can be your springboard to bigger investments, higher returns, and ultimately, increased wealth. Think of it as leverage, a financial crowbar prying open the door to bigger opportunities.

Myth #2: Playing with fire. Risk is inherent in any game, debt or not. The key is calculated, informed risk. The wealthy understand the game, assess risks meticulously, and have robust safeguards in place. They see debt as a calculated bet, not a reckless gamble.

Myth #3: Debt drains your future. Used strategically, debt can actually accelerate your path to financial freedom. Imagine buying an appreciating asset (like investment real estate) with a loan. Rent covers most of the payments, the asset grows in value, and you build equity without burning through your own cash. Debt can fuel the fire (or quite literally F.I.R.E.), instead of extinguishing it.

The Debt to Wealth Playbook:

The Leverage Ladder: The wealthy don’t just pay off debt; they use it to climb the wealth ladder. They leverage existing assets to acquire bigger ones (e.g. selling one piece of real estate to buy a bigger one), generating more income and equity with each rung. It’s a virtuous cycle, a perpetual engine of growth powered by strategically borrowed fuel.

Think Long-Term: The wealthy always play the long game. Short-term anxieties or market fluctuations don’t deter them. They understand that debt, like any tool, needs long-term vision and strategic use to truly pay off. It’s not about instant gratification, it’s about building empires.

Diversification is Key: Just like your investment portfolio, your debt strategy should be diversified. Different types of debt for different goals — mortgages for appreciating assets, business loans for scaling ventures, and so on. Spread the risk, spread the rewards.

Know Your Numbers: The wealthy are financial ninjas. They keep tabs on their money, understand interest rates like the back of their hand, and negotiate like gladiators. Without financial literacy, debt can be a monster; with it, it becomes a powerful weapon. Do you know your numbers? If not, join my free 5-Day Financial Clarity challenge.

A Word of Caution:

This isn’t a green light for reckless borrowing. Debt, like fire, is a powerful tool that can illuminate your path or burn it to ashes. It can build wealth or bring it crashing down. Use it with respect, with knowledge, and with a clear, long-term vision. Remember, debt is a means, not an end.

So, are you aiming to pay off your debt or use it to build wealth?

This isn’t a secret society reserved for the privileged few. The principles of strategic debt utilization can be adapted for everyone. Understand your goals, assess your risk tolerance, and educate yourself about financial instruments. You may not be buying skyscrapers, but you can leverage a smart mortgage to own your own home, a calculated business loan to launch your dream venture, or even student loans to invest in your future earning potential.

Remember: Debt is not the enemy; it’s the tool.

There is not such thing as good or bad debt. No more than there’s a good or bad hammer. Both are tools. It’s whether they are used to build or destroy that determines the impact. In the hands of the informed and strategic, debt can be a powerful ally, propelling you towards financial freedom. So, let’s shed the stigma, learn the game, and use debt as the springboard it truly can be. Remember, it’s not about being debt-free, it’s about being debt-powerful. Want to learn how to make your debt pay off? Schedule a Money Chat today.

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Jenny Whichello, Bliss + Wealth

On a mission to help the next generation of unstoppable women have blissful relationships with money while building wealth! Free resources @ blissandwealth.com