Explore Debt.com
America's Voice On Debt - Debt Crisis Map

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.

Donald Trump shows off his best presidential qualities, like caring about money for himself (illustrated)

Trump Supporters Say These Financial Traits Make Him Great

August 17, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

Ethics and concern for the poor are not among them.

Read More
Banking regulator nominees Joseph Otting and Randy Quarles shake hands with Donald Trump (illustrated)

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

Read More
Betsy DeVos looks at a classroom of lawyers (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Man walks along a political fork in the road (illustration)

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.

Read More
Man stands in a barren field next to a fruitful one (illustrated)

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.”

Read More
CFPB Director Richard Cordray tips the scales of consumer justice (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Betsy Devos and Rich Cordray fight over student loans (illustrated)

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.

Read More
A geographical color-coded depiction of the U.S. ranking states by consumer credit

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.

Read More
An angry woman shakes her fists at the sky (illustrated)

This Week’s Grim Debt Facts: Mostly Broke, Sometimes Stupid

June 29, 2017 | Michael Koretzky

If another recession is looming, this is your warning.

Read More
Barack Obama laughs at a tired Trump in the Oval Office (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch points his gavel dramatically (illustrated)

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.

Read More
A look at the key aspects of the Financial Choice Act legislation on a mobile app (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Graduates stare at a tsunami of student loan debt (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Betsy DeVos rides a bear at the circus with ringleader Trump (illustrated)

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.”

Read More
A giant rump imposingly looks at members of Congress (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Neil Gorsuch sits in consideration of arguments in the Supreme Court (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Trump carries off a wheelbarrow of tax break cash while an ordinary guy looks at his empty pockets (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump does a 100 days victory dance (illustrated)

All the Great Things Trump Did for Me In 100 Days

May 1, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

No, I’m not joking.

Read More
Donald Trump gestures at a chaotic scene in Venezuela (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Uncle Sam is a two-faced monster when it comes to tax debt (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump and Mike Pence snoop on you in the privacy of your home (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump punts people seeking public student loan forgiveness off a cliff (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump yells at immigrants to go away and stop stealing our jobs against a foreground of shuttered factories in a Soviet-style illustration

Are Immigrants Actually Stealing Our Jobs?

April 6, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

Trump thinks so, but research shows they do far more good than harm.

Read More
Rising interest rates affect different kinds of consumers (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump juggles piggy banks representing Social Security (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump fights consumers in a boxing ring as the CFPB jumps in (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump presses the magic jobs button (illustrated)

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.

Read More
A giant Donald Trump lounges in a speech to Congress (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell search for good legislative ideas (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Parents, veterans, and other Americans drop their petitions into the White House (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Betsy DeVos rides a bear and flings education vouchers everywhere (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch points his gavel dramatically (illustrated)

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.

Read More
A giant Trump looms over the New York skyline with his foot about to crush the CFPB on a small boat (illustrated)

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

Read More
Donald Trump and Barack Obama in Uncle Sam Outfits pitch their student loan repayment plans to a recent graduate (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Barack Obama puts Donald Trump through a meat grinder (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump mints a coin in his own image (illustrated)

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

Read More
What the Oval Office will look like after the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, including a bust of himself, gold drapes and a golden T painting (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Americans and Nate Silver fret over the economic effects of a Trump or Clinton presidency on car buying and other important consumer expensesWhat the Oval Office will look like after the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, including a bust of himself, gold drapes and a golden T painting (illustrated)

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.

Read More
A giant red, white, and blue cobra representing the 2016 election looms over a man cowering in front of a gravestone (illustrated)

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.

Read More
The United States flag and electoral map are made of money (illustrated)

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

Read More
Donald Trump races to the finish line against silhouettes (illustrated)

Older, Less Educated, And Coupon-Loving Americans Favor Trump

October 19, 2016 | Dori Zinn

While educated, younger crowd flocks to Clinton

Read More
A giant Republican elephant piggy bank gives itself coins next to a small Democratic donkey piggy bank (illustrated)

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?

Read More
An all-American cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, an American flag toothpick on an America plate with an America napkin

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…

Read More
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand at podiums debating each other's policies on student loans (illustrated)

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

Read More
A college graduation cap and dollar sign tassel with a degree wrapped in a price tag (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump wave to the crowd on a debate stage as consumers cheer (illustrated)

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

Read More
A woman browses a Canadian lumberjack's dating profile as she thinks about how to escape Donald Trump's presidency (illustrated)

Can You Find Love Through Politics?

July 19, 2016 | Treanna Lawrence

I tried out five political dating sites so you don’t have to

Read More
Newt Gingrich begs for money in front of a bus stop (illustration)

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?

Read More
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump wave to the crowd on a debate stage as consumers cheer (illustrated)

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.

Read More
An astronaut floats out of Earth's orbit as a nuclear bomb detonates in the United States (illustration)

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.

Read More
A man rages about Obamacare (illustration)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump races to the finish line against silhouettes (illustrated)

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.

Read More
The first 100 days of the 2016 presidency, showing what the Oval Office would look like for each potential president (illustration)

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.

Read More
The United States flag and electoral map are made of money (illustrated)

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

Read More
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders stand behind a pile of money against a backdrop of the U.S. electoral map (illustrated)

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.

Read More
Donald Trump stands in front of a Republican and a Democrat (illustrated)

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.

Read More
This map shows state by state personal debt (illustration)

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?

Read More
congress' student loan program

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.

Read More
Capitol Hill under a blue sky as Congress debates a student loan program

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?

Read More
Marco Rubio caught up in the politics of student loans (illustration)

This week’s Debt Report: The partisan politics of student loans

July 18, 2014 | Michael Koretzky

College students may be notoriously poor voters, but their student loans are becoming a hot political issue.

Read More