One day, I had a casual conversation with an acquaintance about how I'm on my way toward paying off my student loans, even though the pace was very slow. He soon remarked, "Ah, don't worry about those. I never paid mine and every thing's cool!"

Oh, how I wish he was right...because he was utterly utterly wrong.

It's true that debt is a fact of life for most of us, and often one that is never resolved. Yet this is at our own undoing, because as beneficial loans can be in jump-starting your business or career the debt that you incur can cripple you in the future if you're not careful. Here is a list of 6 reasons why you'll want to pay down your debts by cutting back on luxuries if you wish to succeed.

Pay Sooner, Save More Later

Fast is good if you want to avoid additional late fees and interest charges. What more is there to say?

It Improves Your Credit Rating

This should be a no-brainer to just about everyone. Good credit means more readily available access to funds for emergencies and future enterprises, as well as a potentially lower interest-rates for future loans. Given that it's already tough to qualify for a loan in the first place, this is saying a lot. Additionally, this sets off a chain of other benefits that may not be so obvious to most as explained further down below.

It Opens Career Opportunities

Having a good reputation for paying your dues makes it that much easier for employers to hire you, ESPECIALLY if you are applying for positions with serious responsibilities such as those found in the financial sector or in government. As a young college graduate who knows too well the pinch of unemployment, this is even MORE important for people like myself; debt holds us back in a very crucial time in our careers, where we need both of our feet in the door (not just one) in order to move up the ranks of jobs in this economy. The sooner we're out of debt, the better.

It Keeps You Competitive

Needless to say, paying back a loan is as enjoyable as sitting on a cactus, but it's the necessary thing to do to keep the trust of your clients, the creditors, who are seeking to buy some of your future returns in exchange for their temporary economic boost. That's what loans are, and without them you will be practically naked in comparison to competitors who otherwise do.

Your Reputation As An Entrepreneur Will Improve

If you have the right know-how to remunerate your loans while at the same time turning a profit, congratulations; you are the businessman's businessman, and investors all over will likely pay attention to your proposals.

No More Hounding From Creditors

Yes, if you owe big time, lenders will make it a point to remind you over and over again, non-stop, until you pay up. Have a phone-line at home? Well if you are behind on your payments, that line will essentially be useless (as mine once was) as more and more financial institutions become desperate for capital in the near future and thus call you up, pleading for more money.

Of course, you could always choose to ignore them...for a while. In that case, don't be surprised if you eventually find your bank account being portioned off by the law, or worse. Trust me, you don't want any legal problems with creditors; you did borrow their money after all. Paying those bills thus goes a long way toward keeping the peace at home, your workplace, and your wallet.

In Conclusion...

I'm not suggesting that you starve yourself at the expense of your debt, but that if you wish to eat more cake in the long run (besides just having it) then being beholden to no one is a great start. It need not be too painful either; there already are legitimate services to help you renegotiate or consolidate your loan agreements online and close to home if you do your research. Even better, once you do finally pay off every loan, your self-satisfaction is guaranteed as no one can call you a slacker with a straight face in light of all the benefits I just described.

Being debt-free is a club in its own; too few join it, yet the perks are great.