Debt is Not Debt if There is an Offsetting Asset
When you take a loan to purchase something, the value of the item you purchased becomes an asset for you. This asset offsets the debt on your personal balance sheet. If you use your credit card to buy a haircut, there is no offsetting asset.
If you take out a car loan to buy a new car, the resale value of the car is somewhere around 60% of the loan amount. If you buy a new car with a $2,000 downpayment and an $8,000 loan, you now have a $6,000 asset and an $8,000 debt. You have a net debt of only $2,000.
On the other hand, if you take out a loan to buy a home, the value of the home can offset 100% of the loan amount. If you buy a home with a $20,000 downpayment and an $80,000 loan, you now have a $100,000 asset. In effect, you do not have a debt — you have a net asset value of $20,000.