Metadata is frequently cited as the most significant cost of a digital library project. As such, care should be taken to ensure that when metadata is created, it is done in such a way that its quality will not be low enough to be a liability to current and future library applications. Agile software development uses the concept of "technical debt" to place metrics on the ongoing costs associated with low-quality code, and determine resource allocation for strategies to improve it. This talk presents the technical debt metaphor in the context of metadata management, identifies common themes across the qualitative and quantitative literature related to technical debt, and connects them to similar themes in the literature on metadata quality assessment. It presents a set of metrics for determining metadata management debts and taking steps to pay them down. Finally, it concludes with areas of future research in the area of technical debt and metadata management, and ways in which the metaphor may be integrated into other current avenues of metadata research.