Very good question. I haven't had a lot of experience in the real world yet when it comes to financials, but I think the changes in our economy has made it very hard for young and old alike to stay out of debt. Inflation rates coupled with massive outsourcing by American businesses has put a new brick on the back of those who are already carrying around an awful lot of them if you know what I mean, and a public that's obsessed with material possesion heavily manipulated by greedy capitalists influencing our youth doesn't help either. In addition, our president now wants to make new free market trade agreements with a handful of other countries which would no doubt make the situation even worse for middle and low class Americans as that would introduce a whole new level of competition for jobs. My tentative conclusion is that the current and future state of our capalist economy and materilistic society makes it virtually impossible for anyone to stay debt free throughout the duration of their lifetime. Unless they have a plump financial inheritence waiting for them after the death of a family member or something.