Quotes (my own - though they are rehashes of the ideas of others):
Debt is a tool, it is neither inherently good or bad. As with any tool, it can be used well or poorly.
Do not limit your finances by eliminating one of your most powerful tools: leverage.
Never pre-pay debt that is at or near the rate of inflation.
Always remember to adjust your debt service to account for taxes.
Wise use of debt is the surest way to build wealth.
Never take out a loan strictly for any perceived tax advantage (they’re nice, and icing on the cake, but not a sufficient reason for debt).
Consumer debt should be avoided like the plague with a few exceptions.
My story about debt is that I take on as much debt as I can. I use debt to purchase rental properties with zero to limited money out of pocket. One of my biggest regrets is that I financed my primary house with a 15 year mortgage rather than a 30 year mortgage as this is affecting my ability to a small extent to take on more rentals. It also makes it the only investment property I have that has negative cash flow.
For any cash flowing asset, I will pay the absolute minimum on any debt as the interest is already accounted for. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the APR is 1% or 20%. In either case, I evaluated the deal with the interest rate in mind. Paying anything above the minimum limits my ability to use additional leverage and hurts my cash flow.
I rarely use debt for consumer purchases. I occasionally do, but only if the APR below the rate of inflation, at which point using debt costs less than paying cash (so long as you finish paying off the debt before any promotion ends). As an example, take the purchase of a set of appliances for a new rental unit. I may need a washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove/oven, and dishwasher. I can purchase them at Best Buy / Home Depot / Lowes / or whoever is running a promotion and put $2k onto some random store card at a 0% APR for 24 months. I can then setup $100/mo automated payments to ensure the debt is paid off several months ahead of time, and put an event in my calendar to close the account the month after it’s paid. Because money becomes less valuable over time due to inflation, I end up with a discount on my purchase equal to the purchase price minus the rate of inflation (not quite that simple, but gives the idea). And, by investing the $2000, if I earn the average ~8% historical return in the stock market, I end up several hundred dollars ahead by using the consumer debt.