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For most of us, “debt” is a four-letter word as dirty as any other. We feel bad when we’re in it and glad when we’re out of it.

Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Debt has its uses. Few of us have the resources to buy a home outright without taking on at least some debt. Debt can help us go to college, start a business, buy a car and handle emergencies.

The question is: How much debt is too much? There’s no single answer.

Read the full article in the Finances FYI section of The Seattle Times, sponsored by 1st Security Bank.