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100+ Debt Free Quotes: Best Quotations About Debt Online

Here’s a list of 100+ debt free quotes from verified sources to inspire you.
Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer
Written by

Deepti Nickam

Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer
Written by
Deepti Nickam
Finance Writer

Content writing and marketing professional with 5+ years of experience in the B2B and B2C sectors. Deepti has written about several subjects, including finance, project management, human resources, and more.

Learn more about our editorial process

Derek Sall - Founder/Personal Finance Expert
Reviewed by

Derek Sall

Verified by an expert
Derek Sall - Founder/Personal Finance Expert
Reviewed by
Derek Sall
Founder/Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

Learn more about our editorial process

July, 11 2023

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In a world where credit cards and loans are tools for instant gratification, being debt-free feels special—like you have a superpower. 

Why Trust Us
Advertiser Disclosure

Tune in to the Dave Ramsey podcast, hear people yell out their debt-free screams, and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. 

Their excitement is palpable—after all, they beat their debts and took back control of their lives. 

But watching these folks achieve their goals on screen can make it all seem unattainable. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best get-out-of-debt and debt-free quotes to motivate you.

This article will show you:

  • 100+ debt-free quotes to inspire you.
  • Tips to get out of debt quickly.
  • Key FAQs on overcoming debt. 

Read more:

Debt Free Motivational Quotes

These motivational quotes are just what you need to fuel your journey toward a debt-free future. 

  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”—Nelson Mandela
  • “We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”—Max Depree
  • “All you can change is yourself, but sometimes that changes everything.”—Gary W. Goldstein
  • “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”—C.S. Lewis
  • “A healthy and debt-free living person is the richest and the happiest.”—Sushmitha Maddula
  • “Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”—Roy T Bennett
  • “No man’s credit is as good as his money.”—John Dewey
  • “Think what you do when you run into debt. You give to another power over your liberty.”—Benjamin Franklin
  • “You still need to save, but being debt-free in retirement is and should be a goal.”—Michelle Singletary
  • “Never spend your money before you have earned it.”—Thomas Jefferson
  • “If you’re thinking of debt, that’s what you’re going to attract.”—Bob Proctor
  • “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”—Warren Buffett
  • “He looks the whole world in the face for he owes not any man.”—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Debt Free Life Quotes: Thoughts on Being in Debt

Sometimes all we need to get a move on is some brutal honesty. Here are blunt quotes about the harsh realities of being in debt:

  • “Credit is a system whereby a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.”—Charles Dickens
  • “Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self.”—Nathan W. Morris
  • “The basic thing with frugality is: if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.”—Harken Headers
  • “Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”—Ogden Nash
  • “Know what you own, and know why you own it.”—Peter Lynch
  • “Students who acquire large debts, putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think.”—Noam Chomsky
  • “To grasp why people bury themselves in debt, you don’t need to study interest rate; you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism.”—Morgan Housel
  • “Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.”—American Proverb
  • “No man’s credit is as good as his money.”—E.W. Howe
  • “Debt can turn a free, happy person into a bitter human being.”—Michael Mihalik
  • “Debt on anything that depreciates is disastrous.”—Orrin Woodward
  • “Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.”—Samuel Johnson
  • “A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity and can command it.”—Victor Hugo
  • “One of the greatest disservices you can do a man is to lend him money that he can’t pay back.”—Jesse H Jones
  • “Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.”—Josh Billings
  • “Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.”—Ezra Pound
  • “Debt is a prolific mother of folly and of crime.”—Benjamin Disraeli
  • “Debt basically enables people to live a lie.”—Rachel Cruze
  • “Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift— The hangover comes the day after.”—Joyce Brothers
  • “The decision to go into debt alters the course condition of your life. You no longer own it. You are owned.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt.”—Henrik Ibsen
  • “Debt is the slavery of the free.”—Publilius Syrus
  • “This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.”—Earl Wilson
  • “The second vice is lying, the first is running in debt.”—Benjamin Franklin
  • “Bad debt is sacrificing your future day needs for your present-day desires.”—Suze Orman
  • “Debt is the worst poverty.”—Thomas Fuller
  • “We say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt.”—Barack Obama
  • “Youth is in danger until it learns to look upon debts as furies.”—Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
  • “I go on the principle that a public debt is a public curse.”—James Madison
  • “If you have debt, I’m willing to bet that general clutter is a problem for you too.”—Suze Orman
  • “In the long run, we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our survival.”—Norbert Wiener

(Sidebar: Want to get out of debt in a year or less? Check out our new Get Out of Debt course.)

Being Debt Free Quotes

Ready to break free from the chains of debt? Here are some quotes that give you a glimpse of what financial nirvana looks like:

  • “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”—Adam Smith
  • “There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting out of debt.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “Out of debt, out of danger.”—Jerry Voorhis
  • “Pay off your debt first. Freedom from debt is worth more than any amount you can earn.”—Mark Cuban
  • “I have two amazing things in my life: I’m pain-free and I’m debt-free.”—Stephen King
  • “Investing is important, but get debt-free first. That’s what frees up your income so you can win.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “The day I’m able to be debt-free is the day I’m going to be the happiest guy around.”—Steve Garvey
  • “Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county and state, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.”—Rutherford B. Hayes
  • “Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food—and were debt-free. Today, we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: They have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.”—Thomas S. Monson
  • “I use my financial values to set my limitations. I have three children I want to put through college debt free. So that means I can’t spend wildly or with disregard.”—Michelle Singletary
  • “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “It’s not what you make but what you save that gets you out of debt.”—Suzanne Woods Fisher
  • “Remember this: Debt is a form of bondage. It is a financial termite.”—Joseph B. Wirthlin
  • “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “I say to you never involve yourself in debt, and become no man’s surety.”—Andrew Jackson
  • “Live within your means, never be in debt, and by husbanding your money you can always lay it out well.”—Andrew Jackson
  • “You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt.”—Daniel Hannan
  • “Simply put, unsustainable debt is helping to keep too many poor countries and poor people in poverty.”—Bill Clinton
  • “Many delight more in giving of presents than in paying their debts.”—Sir Philip Sidney

Budgeting Quotes

Budgeting and saving those dollars is arguably the most important step toward achieving a debt-free life. 

This is why we’re unveiling a collection of budgeting quotes that will make you rethink your relationship with money.

  • “A debt problem is, at its core, a budgeting problem.”—Natalie Pace
  • “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.”—Gloria Steinem
  • “When you buy a bigger house, another luxury car, or a fancy boat, you are showing people that you used to have money.”—Christopher Manske
  • “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”—Zig Ziglar
  • “Don’t let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash, son.”—Charles Portis
  • “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”—George Washington
  • “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”—Will Rogers
  • “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”—Joe Biden
  • “If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you need.”—Warren Buffett
  • “Budget—a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions”—A. A. Lattimer

Funny and Quirky Quotes About Debt

Debt may be serious business, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh about it. Brace yourself for a collection of hilarious and quirky quotes that will have you chuckling.

  • “I wasn’t worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two millions of dollars.”—Mark Twain
  • “If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.”—Earl Wilson
  • “Debt is normal. Be weird.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “Creditors have better memories than debtors.”—Benjamin Franklin
  • “If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours.”—John Maynard Keynes
  • “When a man is in love or in debt, someone else has the advantage.”—Bill Balance
  • “Today, there are three kinds of people: the have’s, the have-not’s, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-have’s.”—Earl Wilson
  • “Forgetfulness. A gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.”—Ambrose Bierce
  • “A man who pays his bills on time is soon forgotten.”—Oscar Wilde
  • “I like my players to be married and in debt. That’s the way you motivate them.”—Ernie Banks
  • “Debts are nowadays like children begot with pleasure, but brought forth in pain.”—Moliere
  • “Debts and lies are generally mixed together.”—Francois Rabelais
  • “Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them.”—George Herbert
  • “Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.”—Herbert Hoover
  • “Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.”—George Burns
  • “Money is like a sixth sense—and you can’t make use of the other five without it.”—William Somerset Maugham
  • “Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.”—Helen Gurley Brown

More Quotes on Debt

Here are more debt-free quotes we want to share with you but wouldn’t place under the other categories:

  • “It takes as much imagination to create debt as to create income.”—Leonard Orr
  • “A habit of debt is very injurious to the memory.”—Austin O’Malley
  • “The impulse dances inside the debt.”—Jareb Teague
  • “A mortgage casts a shadow on the sunniest field.”—Robert Green Ingersoll
  • “Debt is the secret foe of thrift, as vice and idleness are its open enemies.”—James H. Aughey
  • “Worrying is like paying on a debt that may never come due.”—Will Rogers
  • “Many folks think they aren’t good at earning money, when what they really don’t know is how to use it.”—Frank A Clark
  • “Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but everybody does something about it.” —Rebecca Johnson

Debt in America in 2023

A quick look at America’s debt statistics will tell you that we’re drowning in debt. We're talking student loans, credit cards, payday loans, car loans, you name it. 

To that end, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York just dropped its latest report on household debt and credit, and the numbers will knock your socks off. 

The quarterly report shows a spike in total household debt in the first quarter of 2023. It now stands at a whopping $17.05 trillion cit@tion. 

Total balances are currently $2.9 trillion higher than at the end of 2019, before the pandemic-induced recession. 

Look closely, and you’ll realize that most of America’s debt is high-interest credit card debt. 

The Federal Reserve confirms that America’s total credit card balance is a staggering $925 billion cit@tion. In fact, 77% of US households are currently dealing with credit card debt cit@tion.

These numbers are truly heartbreaking. But what will help is if we collectively take charge of our finances, get inspired, and continuously work towards a debt-free life.

Tips to Get Out of Debt Quickly

We’ve compiled expert-verified, practical tips that can help you get out of debt faster.

1. Try a debt payment strategy

These bad boys are clever tactics that can help you deal with outstanding debts. 

Having these strategies in your arsenal will make it easier for you to navigate tough financial situations and bring you closer to debt freedom

Some of the top debt repayment strategies you can consider include—

Debt snowball

The debt snowball method is a popular repayment strategy that can put an end to your vicious cycle of credit card debt. 

Using this method, you’ll focus on paying off your smallest debt first with minimum payments. 

Once you’re done with the first debt, you use the momentum gained to eliminate the next smallest debt, and so on. 

Snowballing your credit card debt will ensure you’re dealing with one debt at a time, making it easier for you to celebrate small victories.

Curious to see if this method works for you? Check out our Free Debt Snowball Spreadsheet.

Debt avalanche

The debt avalanche method focuses on paying off debts with the highest interest rates first

Here, you’ll first pay off the debt with the highest interest rate, and then move on to the debt with the second-highest interest rate. 

You repeat the process until you’ve paid off all of your credit card debt.

Check out our Free Debt Avalanche Spreadsheet to see if this works for you.

2. Debt consolidation

If you’re dealing with credit card debt that’s scattered across different accounts, pay attention to this debt management technique. 

Owing money to several creditors can be an organizational nightmare. You can consolidate all your pesky debts in one place. This way, you’ll deal with a single credit card debt—and if you play your cards right, you may also get a lower interest rate.

Here are some ways to consolidate your debt:

  • Debt consolidation loan: Get a debt consolidation loan that offers a lower APR (Annual Percentage Rate) than you’re paying on your current debt. 

If your credit score is still in good shape, this type of personal loan can help you reduce your total interest charges by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

  • Credit card balance transfer: You can also consolidate your debt using a balance transfer credit card. These cards typically come with an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for a set period (usually nine to 21 months). 

Simply transfer your debts to this new card and pay off that debt during the interest-free introductory period.

3. Debt management plan

Debt Management Plans (DMPs) are programs offered by nonprofit credit counseling agencies to help consumers struggling with a large amount of unsecured debt. 

This typically includes personal loans and credit card debt. (DMPs usually don’t cover student loans or secured loans, such as mortgages or auto loans.)

You want to do your due diligence and work with a credit counselor before signing up. 

Once you’re sure you’re making the right call, the counselor will negotiate with your creditor

They’ll try to get you lower interest rates, monthly payments, fees, or all of the above.

Once they reach an agreement with your creditors, you’ll start paying the credit counseling agency. The agency will then pay your creditors on your behalf.

Check out the list of government-approved credit counseling agencies here.

Don’t forget you’ll need to pay the credit counselors. This involves a one-time setup fee—typically $30 to $50—along with a monthly fee, ranging from $20 to $75. 

Review your budget to figure out if you can afford to pay before you start the process.

4. Debt Settlement

Debt settlement refers to bargaining with your creditors to pay less than what you owe. 

You can do this on your own if you’re up for the legwork. But work with a debt settlement company or law firm if you feel overwhelmed.

Signing up with a debt settlement firm will mean you stop paying your bills while the organization negotiates your new settled amount. 

Missing a few payments can negatively damage your credit score. But that’s not all—once you’ve settled, the creditor will add a note to your credit reports, causing more damage.

Don’t forget that working with a debt settlement company or law firm may help you bag a better settlement, but it can cost you 15% to 25% of the settled amount.

Read more:

5. Get on a budget

There’s no substitute for budgeting. It can help you prioritize your expenses, ultimately ensuring you don’t overspend. 

Jay Zigmont, PhD, CFP®, Founder of Childfree Wealth, says, “You need to have a plan for your money if you are going to get out of debt. Your budget will tell you both what you can and cannot spend money on. Pick the budget or app that works for you. You won’t get it perfect the first month. Just try to make improvements each month.

Budgeting can seem like an intimidating task. But we’ve got your back. 

Start budgeting efficiently with our free and ready-to-use budget templates:

Key Takeaways

Most of these quotes on debt drive home the point that you must be smart about your money and not go overboard with expenses. 

Read them from time to time—they’ll remind you to save up, budget wisely, and steer clear of unnecessary debt. 

They’ll also help you believe that achieving a debt-free life is possible. All you need to make it happen is discipline and strategy.

Lastly, make sure to check out our free debt snowball spreadsheet to speed your way out of debt.


Why are quotes about debt motivational?

Here are several reasons why debt-free quotes are motivational:

  • You gain perspective. Quotes can give you a fresh outlook on debt, reminding you it’s a temporary situation that you can conquer.
  • Debt-related quotes often share stories of individuals who successfully conquered debts. This can inspire you and assure you that you’re not alone.
  • These quotes also emphasize the importance of resilience. They remind you that you can overcome any obstacle and gain financial freedom.
  • Debt-related quotes can help set goals and envision your financial future. They encourage you to prioritize debt repayment and develop effective strategies.
  • Quotes can shift your mindset from feeling overwhelmed and negative about debt to a more positive one. 
  • Some quotes about debt help you learn from past mistakes and make better financial decisions in the future. They encourage you to educate yourself about personal finance, budgeting, and debt management.
What are some quotes about overcoming debt?

Check out these quotes about overcoming debt for some inspiration:

  • “The only way to permanently overcome debt is by cultivating the habit of living within your means.”—Thomas J. Stanley
  • “Getting out of debt is hard, but staying out of debt is harder. It requires discipline, perseverance, and a fundamental change in how you view and manage money.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “Don’t let your debt define you. You have the power to rise above it and create a brighter financial future for yourself.”—Suze Orman
  • “The best way to predict your future is to create it. Start by conquering your debt and taking control of your financial destiny.”—David Bach
  • “Debt is a burden that can hold you back, but with determination and a solid plan, you can break free and achieve financial freedom.”—Robert Kiyosaki
  • “Overcoming debt requires sacrifice and discipline, but the freedom that comes with financial independence is worth every penny.”—Mary Hunt

You can experiment with different debt payoff strategies (like the debt snowball method and the debt avalanche method) until you get it right.

What are some motivational quotes on debt?

Here are some of the most popular motivational debt and loan quotes:

  • “Debt is the worst poverty.”—Thomas Fuller
  • “Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.”—Ambrose Bierce
  • “Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.”—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”—Dave Ramsey
  • “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”—Charles Dickens
  • “The only way to permanently change the temperature in the room is to reset the thermostat. In the same way, the only way to change your level of financial success ‘permanently’ is to reset your financial thermostat. But it is your choice whether you choose to change.”—T. Harv Eker
What is the slang for not paying a debt?

Here are some slang words for not paying a debt:

  • “Ducking” means avoiding or evading payment, similar to a duck hiding or dodging.
  • “Bouncing” suggests not fulfilling a financial obligation and leaving abruptly, like a bounced check.
  • “Stiffing” implies intentionally not paying a debt, similar to stiffing someone out of what you owe them.
  • “Dodging” suggests actively avoiding or evading payment, like dodging someone.
  • “Slipping” is failing to make a payment or avoiding a debt obligation.

Not paying off credit card debt, a mortgage, personal loans, or student debt can burden you with a feeling of failure—but often you’re just a few strategies and tools away from being completely debt-free.

Check out our free debt payoff tools:

How to pay down credit card debt?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on paying off credit card debt:

  • Assess your current financial situation: Understand the total amount of debt you owe by reviewing your credit card statements.
  • Create a budget: Track your income and expenses to figure out how much you can put towards paying off your credit card debt. 
  • Prioritize your debts: Consider using the debt snowball or debt avalanche method to prioritize which credit card to pay off first. 
  • Negotiate lower interest rates: Contact your credit card issuers and ask if they can reduce your interest rates. Highlight your positive payment history and mention competitive rates offered by other companies.
  • Make extra payments: Pay more than the minimum amount on your credit cards. This way, you can chip away at the outstanding loan balance quicker and reduce the overall interest charges. 
  • Explore balance transfer options: Transfer your credit card balances to a card with a lower interest rate or a promotional 0% APR period. This strategy can help you consolidate your debts and save on interest.
  • Seek additional income sources: Increase your income through side hustles and gigs to boost your debt repayment efforts.
What are the other strategies for paying off credit card debt?

Here are some top strategies for paying off credit card debt: 

    • Debt snowball method: This method focuses on paying off your smallest debt first with minimum payments. Once you’ve cleared the first debt, you use the momentum gained to eliminate the next smallest debt, and so on.
  • Debt avalanche method: The debt avalanche method focuses on paying off debts with the highest interest rates first. You’ll first pay off the debt with the highest interest rate, and then move on to the debt with the second-highest interest rate. You’ll repeat the process until you’ve paid off all of your credit card debt.
  • Debt snowflaking: Immediately captures small savings to pay off outstanding bills. This means every small, micro-saving you make—gas money and Starbucks included—goes toward paying off debt.
  • Equal distribution method: Involves making equal payments towards all your debts each month.
  • Cash flow method: Essentially, the opposite of the debt snowball method. Concentrates on paying off your largest debt first.
Does debt relief hurt your credit?

Depending on your financial situation and the method you pick, debt relief can help or harm your credit.

Here’s a breakdown of how debt settlement, debt management, debt consolidation, and bankruptcy affect your credit:

  • Debt settlement can be risky for your credit score. That’s because you may have to stop payments while your debt settlement company is negotiating on your behalf. This will lower your score.
  • Debt management is a more safer choice. As long as you stick to your new repayment plan, your credit score should be unaffected.
  • Debt consolidation can also provide relief without significant harm to credit scores. However, getting a new loan or credit card triggers a hard enquiry, which may result in a temporary drop in scores. 
  • Bankruptcy has serious consequences for credit scores, remaining on your credit history for seven to ten years. It also makes building credit in the future challenging. Explore all other debt-relief options before jumping on to this one.


See all

Bhutta, N., Bricker, J., Chang, A. C., Dettling, L. J., Goodman, S., Moore, K. B., Reber, S., Volz, A. H., & Windle, R. A. (2020). Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2016 to 2019: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer FinancesChanges in U.S. Family Finances from 2016 to 2019: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances.

Household Debt and Credit Report—FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of NEW YORK. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/hhdc

Editorial team

Meet the team
Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Content writing and marketing professional with 5+ years of experience in the B2B and B2C sectors. Deepti has written about several subjects, including finance, project management, human resources, and more.

Kacper Kozicki - Editor-in-Chief


Kacper is an editor, writer, and multilingual translator with expertise in producing tailored content for global online brands.

Derek Sall - Founder/Personal Finance Expert

Founder/Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

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