Many economists advocate the power of personal debt to fuel economic expansion. With the availability of cheap credit and increased demand for consumer goods, consumers can help to increase domestic production and economic growth. However, as the household debt ratio to GDP in the United States shows, talking in macroeconomic terms creates distance to the personal tragedies that result from excessive debt, often having their beginnings in high debt payment to income ratio.
There are various sources of debt in the United States, but credit card debt was the predominant source in 2016. It's one of the worst types of debt due to the high interest rates, which makes it harder to pay off. A 2015 survey found that almost 70 percent of people prefer to be paid back in cash when sharing expenses with someone.