Here’s a snapshot of personal debt in America leading up to the 2016 election.
Ever since Bill Clinton’s come-from-nowhere presidential victory in 1992, all candidates – Democratic and Republican – have adopted the mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
With credit card and student loan balances at all-time highs, we believe the 2016 campaign motto should’ve been, “It’s the debt, dummy.” And we’re not talking the national debt, which is also at record levels. No, we’re talking about personal debt. If voters once cast ballots according to their pocketbooks, next time they might vote based on their loan balances.
That’s why we report on where the candidates and their political parties stand on personal debt issues, and when the president does something to affect your wallet. We’ll ask them questions, investigate their own personal debt, and give voters a little more information before they cast their votes.
America’s Voice on Debt is sponsored by Debt.com, which offers Americans expert advice and services for achieving financial freedom.
Companies Aren’t Investing in Employees. They’re Investing in Themselves
March 15, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
Trump’s tax plan was supposed to spur economic growth and provide consumer prosperity. When’s that coming, exactly?
Trump’s Solution to the Student Loan Crisis May Come From Australia
March 15, 2018 | Holden Miller
To keep students from going under, the president might check down under.
Trump’s Ignorance On Trade Will Cost His Fans — And Everybody Else
March 8, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
Untargeted tariffs on steel and aluminum will raise prices on beer, cars, and possibly a whole lot more.
Trump Got You More Money. Gonna Thank Him?
March 8, 2018 | Holden Miller
Trump’s tax bill brought paychecks up and confidence is coming up behind it.
Republicans Are Ready to Cut Banking Regulations
March 1, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
They want to let big banks take big risks and go for broke — regardless of the consequences.
Don’t Buy the Panic on Wall Street: Trumpenomics Built to Last
March 1, 2018 | Holden Miller
Markets correct themselves. The rest of the economy still looks strong.
Let’s Debate: Immigration, Taxes, and Education
February 22, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
Debt.com’s political columnists go head-to-head on what the latest news in Washington means for consumer finance.
The CFPB Is Giving Up on Regulation. But the Fed Isn’t
February 15, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
Forget “too big to fail.” Now we’re in “too failing to grow.”
A Big-Pharma CEO Will Lower Your Prescription Drug Costs
February 15, 2018 | Holden Miller
You may not be familiar with Alex Azar, but he could drastically affect your life in the next three years.
The Big Number Missing From the State of the Union
February 8, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
Trump hit on unemployment, GDP, taxes, and deregulation. He needs to talk more about wages, infrastructure, and education.
Trump’s Economy Missed His GDP Goal, But That’s OK
February 8, 2018 | Holden Miller
Even if the president fell short of his mark, that doesn’t mean the economy is a dud. Here’s why.
Some Things Are Worth Shutting Down the Government For
February 1, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
If we have to resign ourselves to never passing a budget, we might as well get something good out of the next few shutdowns. Let’s fix student loans.
Will Trump Use Telemedicine to Bring Health Care Costs Down?
February 1, 2018 | Holden Miller
Treating patients remotely could save a lot of money, but Trump has to remove some regulations first.
Now Trump Wants to Raise Your Taxes?
January 25, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
Ready to pay more for gas? Business leaders and Democrats agree it’s a good idea.
Trump Promised to Get More Money for Workers — And He Has
January 25, 2018 | Holden Miller
The tax bill has now brought millions of Americans extra cash — and not just on paper. If it hasn’t helped you, just wait.
It’s Time for Data Breaches to Have Consequences
January 18, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
A new bill in Congress would fine credit reporting agencies bigly for not protecting our information. It’s four years overdue.
The Devil in Dodd-Frank
January 18, 2018 | Holden Miller
The law was meant to prevent recession, but it’s also preventing community banks from thriving.
Class Dismissed: Trump’s Plan to Tackle Rising College Costs
January 12, 2018 | Holden Miller
Can’t afford college? Don’t go. There are other options, and they’ll help bring costs down.
What’s Already Changed at the CFPB
January 11, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
Trump wasted no time wrecking the consumer agency, with bad moves on mortgages and prepaid cards.
Workers Are Already Benefitting From the Trump Tax Plan
January 5, 2018 | Holden Miller
It might not be you, and it might benefit millionaires more, but it’s still a good thing.
This Is the Financial Word of the Year
January 4, 2018 | Brandon Ballenger
I promise it’s not as dumb as Oxford’s “youthquake.”
Repealing the Obamacare Mandate Is the Worst Thing Trump Did for Consumers in 2017
December 29, 2017 | Holden Miller
Healthy people not paying for insurance is probably going to hurt a lot of unhealthy people, and possibly the rest of us.
The Most Damaging Thing Trump Did to Our Money in 2017
December 28, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Neutering the CFPB will have a long-lasting impact on the way we borrow and spend.
Just In Time for Christmas: Trump Claus Delivers the Best Gift Yet
December 22, 2017 | Holden Miller
Tax savings are the best present under the tree this year.
The Best Thing Trump Did for Consumers in 2017
December 21, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
He didn’t accomplish a lot, but I’ll give him credit for this.
Just Take The Money Already: Why You Should Support The Senate Tax Plan
December 15, 2017 | Holden Miller
Don’t worry about the rich. Don’t worry about the economy. Worry about your wallet.
4 Groups Hurt By the Republican Tax Bill
December 14, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Whichever version of this passes is going to suck, unless there’s a radical change of heart. And brain.
Making Jerome Powell Fed Chair Was a Mistake
December 7, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
It’s easy to elevate someone already on the board. Now he has to nominate someone new.
Why Is the Education Department Shrinking?
November 30, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Betsy DeVos already manages the smallest Cabinet agency, but she wants to cut her way to more savings. It won’t work, and it’s awful for struggling students.
Trump Wants to Protect You From Consumer Protection — And You Will Thank Him
November 29, 2017 | Holden Miller
The CFPB is a failure. But don’t blame Trump.
The Guru of Growth: Trump Delivers 3 Percent GDP Right Into Your Wallet
November 24, 2017 | Holden Miller
Obama couldn’t do it. But Trump can.
The CFPB: Nice While It Lasted
November 23, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
The department’s leader is leaving. He may be the only one it ever had.
Why Trump’s Tax Plan Is Actually Good For Average Americans
November 17, 2017 | Holden Miller
Trump’s tax plan may not sound great to its critics, but it’s great for you.
Don’t Destroy Your Coffee Maker Over Politics
November 16, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
It makes no sense to punish your wallet for someone else’s political transgressions.
Trump’s Fed Chair Nominee Isn’t Just A Hit, It’s A Home Run
November 10, 2017 | Holden Miller
This is a pick who will be hard for liberals to criticize. It’s a good thing.
Are You Happier Now?
November 9, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
It’s been a year since America elected Trump. What have we got to show for it?
Donald Trump Wants People To Pay More For Student Loans – But Also Less
November 3, 2017 | Holden Miller
Donald Trump’s student loan plan would save students more money than Obama’s in the long run. It’s also better for the national debt.
Donald Trump Won’t Let You Sue Banks
November 2, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
He signed a law undoing consumer protections for class-action lawsuits against financial abuse.
More Student Loan Ideas for a Hopeless Congress
October 26, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
They’ve got — and are ignoring — a bill on bankrupting student loans. But what about these ideas states are considering?
If Trump Wants Lower Taxes, He Could Move to Mexico
October 19, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Trump’s tax plan benefits him more than anybody else. But he doesn’t have to fight to change policy here… he could just leave.
How Donald Trump Has Worsened Our Greatest Financial Fears
October 12, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Whether it’s retirement, health care, or identity theft, Trump has done some frightening things — that’s no trick.
Now You Can Start Judging Justice Neil Gorsuch
October 5, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
His first real Supreme Court term starts this week, and his opinions will start affecting our financial lives.
More Than 40 Percent of Americans Can’t Pay Their Bills
September 28, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
If Donald Trump wants an easy win, promote financial literacy. It really does make a difference, according to the CFPB.
We Can Finally Talk Seriously About Healthcare Again
September 21, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
After years of mushy Obamacare repeal, Bernie Sanders gives us something concrete to debate.
After Equifax, Where Is Trump’s Cybersecurity Plan?
September 14, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
A major credit bureau handed out 143 million Social Security numbers out of laziness and incompetence. Is Trump going to do anything?
Now the Education Department Is Mad
September 7, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
The CFPB tried to pick up the department’s slack. Now the Education Department is pushing back.
We’re Paying Off Student Loans More Slowly Than Ever
August 31, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
And we’re not getting any relief from Donald Trump.
How Is Trump Doing on Jobs?
August 24, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
He promised 2.5 million jobs a year. Here’s what we have after six months.
Trump Supporters Say These Financial Traits Make Him Great
August 17, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Ethics and concern for the poor are not among them.
I Agree With Trump’s Top Banking Regulators
August 10, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
The biggest risk to the economy is this $1.3 trillion consumer debt — which Trump is doing nothing about
18 States Say Betsy DeVos Is a Failure
August 3, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
The education secretary is being sued for siding with for-profit schools over students. But at least she’s learning from her mistakes.
3 Financial Ideas Democrats Hope Will Win Back Congress
July 27, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Democrats want to offer “A Better Deal,” but they’ll have to win a lot of seats first.
How Well Does Your State Manage Money?
July 20, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
A close look at state balance sheets shows that “fiscally conservative” doesn’t mean financially healthy — but neither does “lots of taxes.”
Thanks to the CFPB, We Can Sue Banks Again
July 13, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
For years, credit card companies and banks have avoided class-action lawsuits by writing rules prohibiting them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just snapped those rules.
Is It The CFPB Versus The Education Department?
July 6, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Looks like Richard Cordray and Betsy DeVos are going to fight over student loan forgiveness.
Why Do Trump Voters Have Worse Credit Than Democrats?
June 29, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
States that voted for Trump have fewer credit cards, lower balances, and a worse understanding of money.
This Week’s Grim Debt Facts: Mostly Broke, Sometimes Stupid
June 29, 2017 | Michael Koretzky
If another recession is looming, this is your warning.
Time’s Up on Trump’s Undo Button
June 22, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
the law he used to cancel last-minute Obama regulations won’t prevent changes to prepaid cards and other improvements.
Neil Gorsuch Sides with Debt Collectors in His First Ruling
June 15, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
That sucks in the short-term, but it’s good for consumers in the long-term.
Where Does Trump Stand on Financial Reform?
June 8, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
He wants the CFPB gutted, but also is “looking at” busting up big banks.
Student Loans: Too Big to Fail? Or Too Much to Succeed?
June 1, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
The “student loan crisis” is so massive, we can’t even comprehend it anymore.
Donald Trump’s Student Loan Circus
May 25, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
He wants to ditch almost everything that helps students save money and manage debt in order to “prioritize students” and “empower parents.”
Trump Is Good For America Now – And Even Better Later
May 18, 2017 | Michael Koretzky
I didn’t vote for him, but I also don’t complain about him.
Is Neil Gorsuch Good or Bad for Your Wallet?
May 11, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
One month into his new job, here’s a quick look at how Trump’s Justice weighs in. It’s way too early for a verdict.
Who Is Going to Get a Big Trump Tax Cut?
May 4, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Hint: His name starts with T and ends with rump. But at least it’s not Paul Ryan’s plan, and maybe if he gets a big break he’ll leave us all alone.
Trump Can’t Ruin America
April 27, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
No matter what you think about Donald Trump, there are hard limits to how much he can reshape politics and the economy. Look no further than the crisis in Venezuela.
Want to Collect Debts for the IRS? The Bar Is Pretty Low
April 21, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
The IRS will use private debt collectors who have failed before, including one the federal government is already suing for ripping consumers off.
Trump Is Stealing Your Internet Privacy
April 20, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Deregulating for its own sake is incredibly stupid — but potentially profitable for internet companies and identity thieves.
Could Donald Trump Snatch Away Student Loan Forgiveness?
April 13, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Everybody wants their debt forgiven, but the people actually promised it could be screwed.
Are Immigrants Actually Stealing Our Jobs?
April 6, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Trump thinks so, but research shows they do far more good than harm.
Interest Rates Are Going Up. Should You Be Worried?
March 30, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
It depends on whether you have debt, and what kind. If you’re rich, it’s strictly good news.
Can Trump Keep His Promise To Leave Social Security Alone?
March 23, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
He campaigned on not cutting entitlements, but conservatives think he has to.
Why the CFPB Still Has a Fighting Chance
March 16, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Republicans may hate it, but the courts — and even Mike Pence’s economist — don’t.
God’s Gift to Jobs? Time to Prove It
March 9, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Here’s a quick look at employment stats to put the first jobs numbers of the Trump administration into context — and what we can expect.
State of the Dystopia
March 2, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Donald Trump’s first speech to Congress Tuesday night was a nice change of pace. But actually doing stuff would be better.
5 Smart Pieces of State Debt Legislation
February 23, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
If Congress needs help helping people, it should look to these state legislators.
Financial Issues Real Americans Want Trump to Solve
February 16, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
These desperate White House petitions aren’t getting much attention. Some of them deserve it.
25 Things I Learned About Betsy DeVos By Reading Her Own Words
February 9, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Secretary of Education responded (sort of) to more than 140 Congressional questions beyond her confirmation hearing. But nobody talked about it.
What Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Mean for Your Finances
February 2, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Neil M. Gorsuch is a lot like Justice Antonin Scalia — except for one big thing.
Will Trump Wreck the Greatest Federal Agency?
January 26, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
He’s hiring people that hate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and pledged to tear up post-recession banking regulations
Trump Could Be Great for Your Student Loan Debt
January 19, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
Or he could be horrible. That’s why I just applied for a new repayment plan while I still can.
President Obama Created President Trump. But Not Like Liberals Think.
January 18, 2017 | Michael Koretzky
Here’s a theory with something for everyone — to hate.
3 Weird Markets Trump Has Already Changed
January 12, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger
The Donald’s business ties, Twitter tantrums and fickle personality will shake up a lot of markets — but I bet you didn’t expect these
What will President Trump do to our finances?
November 9, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
It’s finally over. But what now? Here’s a quick look at some of the things Trump has promised to achieve that’ll change your bottom line — if they get past Congress.
All these election polls show a clear loser — Americans
November 8, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
They’re not about who becomes president, they’re about everything else.
Presidential Politics Might Scare People Into Buying More Insurance
November 7, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Political decisions impact most businesses, but here’s a surprising one getting a boost: life insurance.
What Clinton and Trump Supporters Have In Common
November 1, 2016 | Dori Zinn
There is more that unites us than divides us when it comes to money
Older, Less Educated, And Coupon-Loving Americans Favor Trump
October 19, 2016 | Dori Zinn
While educated, younger crowd flocks to Clinton
What About the Financial Issues the Candidates Aren’t Debating?
October 19, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Americans, like always, care most about the economy and how it helps or hurts them. Why aren’t we hearing more about it?
What If You Could Vote with Your Gut Instead of Your Brain?
August 31, 2016 | Dori Zinn
Voting is hard. Eating and drinking are easy. Maybe that’s why 7-Eleven sells politics-themed coffee — and we think other chains could do the same…
How The Presidential Candidates Plan To Take On Student Loan Debt
August 24, 2016 | Treanna Lawrence
Find out how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would handle your student loans, whether you’re a current student, struggling graduate, or someone who hasn’t taken classes yet
What Would It Cost to Forgive Everybody’s Debt?
August 17, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Here are 10 ways American could come up with the money to pay off everybody’s debt in collections… not that we recommend doing that.
America: Home of the Houseless
July 27, 2016 | Treanna Lawrence
American voters want the presidential candidates to acknowledge the housing crisis, or risk losing their vote
Can You Find Love Through Politics?
July 19, 2016 | Treanna Lawrence
I tried out five political dating sites so you don’t have to
Campaign debt can outlast a presidency
May 11, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Would you believe that President Obama’s campaign committee is still in debt? If a president can’t pay off his debts in a timely fashion, what about all the other could-have-beens?
Trump’s supporters have better credit than Clinton’s
May 6, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Give credit where it’s due. Two surveys show people voting for Trump aren’t stupid — at least when it comes to money.
Where you should move when Trump wins
April 13, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
We’re not saying it will happen. We’re just saying you should be ready.
Why Obamacare Sucks And Nobody Wants To Fix It
April 6, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
If you were fine before Obamacare, you’re probably fine now. Otherwise, here’s why Obamacare sucks for millions of Americans like me.
The Republican Party’s worst-case scenario? A close Trump loss
March 14, 2016 | Michael Koretzky
Here’s why it’s important that Donald Trump doesn’t lose the 2016 election by a hair.
How will the first 100 days of the next presidency affect you?
March 5, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Using things the candidates have actually said or promised, we can peer into the future of domestic policy and how it could affect your wallet.
On financial issues, your party matters less
February 2, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
The top issue for voter of all stripes is putting the “me” back in economy
Which candidate will improve your finances the most?
January 29, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Which presidential candidate has the best policy ideas for your bottom line? Here’s who Americans think will benefit their personal economy in 2016.
Why I’m voting for Donald Trump
January 22, 2016 | Michael Koretzky
Donald Trump is the only candidate that can get Congress back in working order. But probably not the way you think.
Mapping America’s personal debt
January 22, 2016 | Brandon Ballenger
Here’s an in-depth, interactive look at the personal debt loads of every state — plus how it tends to vote in state and national elections. How does your state compare?
Congress will help with your student loans — if you work for them
September 19, 2014 | Brandon Ballenger
A little-known student loan program for staffers could knock up to $60,000 off your debt.
Rating Congress’ new debt bill: 14 things (good and bad) you gotta know
September 11, 2014 | Brandon Ballenger
A California congresswoman has a dozen ideas for easing your debt stress. But will they work?