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Someone who borrowed heavily during the good times and in a downturn can only pay the interest or less.
Debt Zombies work their entire lives paying debt that will never die. 30-60% of their salary is spent on repayments erasing all disposable income with high-interest credit cards coming to the rescue for living expenses. They spend their waking hours working in multiple low-wage job solely focused on paying the interest on their loans. The debt just never dies.
Tilly Rockefowler did a liberal arts undergrad and then a masters in political science costing her $75,000 in loans. Five years later she's now earning $50,000 in a non-profit based in Washington DC. The various moves has racked up consumer debt taking her loans above $100,000. In addition to her day job she works 35 hours doing the 6-8am shift in Starbucks, odd jobs from taskrabbit and in her spare time she scans craigslist for pharmaceutical trials and kidney sales. Her two sole friends consist of a neurotic debt-counselor and a debt-collector based in Bangalore, India whom she has on ongoing long-distance relationship with. She roommates with happy, free-spirited students and will do so well into her 40's. Tilly is a debt zombie.

Bob & Alice bought a 2 bedroomed house in a remote suburb of county Dublin in 2006 for €550,000. Bob worked as an IT lead in Microsoft and Alice was a QA. The house is worth a third of its value today and will not recover for twenty years. Bob is now an office temp replacing laser cartridges and is often chastised for not loading the paper in the tray correctly. Alice doesn't live with Bob anymore. 60% of Bob's rent is paying the interest-only portion of his loan. He's racking up additional credit card loans. He commutes 3.5 hours each day to Dublin city. He will never pay his loan off. He is permanently depressed. Bob is a debt zombie.
by Bucolikski May 12, 2013
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