Does God wants us to be debt free?


#1

I was having this discussion with my DH. I want to be debt free, I’m sick of the loans hanging over our heads, not to mention, the people who cosigned for them. DH is a little lazy about it, they’ll get paid, he always says. I was talking to a friend and she said that it is in the bible that you should be debt-free. I don’t know where, but is this true?

How many of you are actively trying to be?

Thanks


#2

It’s actually in the OT that every seven years, among other things, debtors were supposed to forgive the debts of those who owed them. Not precisely consistent with never having debt.

Certainly if you incur a debt it’s incumbent on you to pay it off as soon as you can reasonably do so. Even things like unnecessarily keeping library books out past their due date or unnecessarily being tardy in paying bills are sinful (not grave sins, of course, but sins against good stewardship for sure)


#3

Obviously this is a rather dated protestant resource, but the Biblical verses are listed and reflected upon.
letslearntheology.com/content/view/64/50/

The two that stand out for me are Proverbs “the borrower is slave to the lender” and Romans “owe no man anything but to love one another.”


#4

the bible discourages it because it can rob us of our other obligations.
it does not call valid debt that is being paid a sin though, just something to be avoided if possible.
we avoid any debt as much as possible and work towards being entirely debt free.


#5

I’m on a mission to have no FICO score. I want to be debt free long enough to fall off the radar. I know it will probably bite me a bit with things like insurance, but I don’t care. I came from parents who paid off every house they ever owned. I’ve never done that and at 46, it’s way past time. I certainly don’t want to be making house payments in my retirement years. Debt makes it difficult to save. And, to women savings = security. I’m ready for a big security blanket.

If your husband could use some motivation, look into Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover. It’s simple common sense stuff.

Good luck


#6

The verse that we use is “A working man is worth his wages” also the verses about not keeping someone’s wages overnight. To me those mean that we should pay as promptly as we can and not expect others to work for us without pay.

So for example, when you pay for your groceries with credit, you may say well the grocery got paid by the bank and the bank can just wait. But the bank is still people also–they ahve a payroll to met and electric bills to pay etc.

Besides all that, I just think it is stupid to pay extra interest if you don’t have to. Paying the minimum on loans only makes them more expensive in the long run.

Can you start paying even $5 more toward certain loans to pay them down? Starting with the smallest one will give you a sense of accomplishement as soon as it’s paid off. If you only have a few loans outstanding, maybe you should start with the one with the highest interest rate.

Bless you in your efforts.


#7

No Fico score is a bad move to make,imo. It’s getting to the point in our lives where everything in our lives are based on that #, not just when your taking out credit or buying insurance. You can be denied a job or apartment without a high credit score. You may think you’ll never need it, but nobody can predict the future. And the way things are going right now, who knows what we’ll be denied without out a good credit score in the future? Don’t be surprised if some day you will denied medical insurance or medical care, utilities…the list could go on and on.

BTW, you can maintain a good credit score without being in debt. :thumbsup:


#8

When I first read the title of this thread, I thought “you bet your bottom dollar” but then reality slapped me in the face.

My wife and I would love to be debt free, but know that it will not happen unless we win the lottery :slight_smile: We are able to make payments on all of the debt that we have and seem to be managing it rather well, I guess after all these years we are getting good at it?!?

In our situation, I do not think that debt free is an option, or even a short term goal. We are more concerned about the day to day and know that those debts will be taken care of and provided for, in due time.

If not, I can always tell the creditors or people that we owe money that God said after 7 years this is to be forgiven? :eek: Worth a shot!


#9

If “debt-free” means “no mortgage” or “no car payment”, then there’s no chance – I don’t have the kind of money it takes to buy houses and cars for cash, and I don’t have the option of living in the already-paid-for family home.

When it comes to credit card debt, I tend to only use it for situations where I have unexpected expenses (like veterinary expenses, or a big car service) or for Christmas gifts, and I then pay it off as quickly as I can. No point wasting any more of my money than necessary on interest payments.

Among the items I don’t consider “necessary” enough to warrant purchasing on credit – new appliances (if the old ones still work), furniture, clothes, electronic gadgets, vacations, entertainment, or anything that could come under the umbrella of “keeping up with the Joneses”.

Mudgie-in-training and freelance sparkle/coffee grinds sprinkler


#10

I’m not totally debt free since I have a mortgage to pay, but other than that I try to stay out of debt. The biggest thing for me is to stay away from impulse buying. I had to work hard on the idea of asking whether I really needed to make a purchase right now. If it could wait, then I learned to hold off. That gives me the option of rethinking whether I want it at all and perhaps saving something toward its price if it’s something expensive.


#11

debt free is doable, we started with students loans, multiple mortgages and car loans, medical bills and credit cards, and we are there, and even, hosanna, building up retirement funds. We buy 3-4 year old cars with cash, our only debt is the current mortgage which is part of a living trust and there is a good sound financial reason for the arrangment which I won’t bore you with, but it could be paid off tomorrow if it became advantageous to do so.

We buy very little, never pay next month for things consumed today, which is what you do when you eat, drink, drive and entertain on credit. We have low interest credit cards paid off each month which offers convenience, cash back on gas, and complete budget tracking of all expenses, as all bills are there including utilities and mtge. We know to the dime how much cash we have on hand, what our expenses are, and what they are going to be next month.

We are extremely selective with gift giving, making sure each gift is worthwhile and what the recipient wants and will use, by the simple expedient of just asking them (or their parents). We don’t try to purchase our grandchildren’s affection with gifts and entertainment, we spend the time with them building the relationship.

We have classic clothing in a selected range of complementary colors and fabrics, buy good to wear well, especially shoes, andd buy only what we need as replacements. We take care of clothing, household items, cars, furniture, and what we do buy. Preventive maintenance is a huge investment with a huge payoff, neglected by many people.

We give a larger than average tithe to parish, diocese, charities through planned giving arrangements which result in a far larger proportion of our donation actually getting to the charity and at the same time reducing our taxes. We got professional help with this, as it is also the cornerstone of our estate planning. Giving this way means the charities will have about double what they would if we just gave cash over a period of time in the normal way. Tithing comes first always has since the first month of our marriage.

We both consciously try to avoid attachment to material possessions, but what we do need we buy good quality and maintain, and recycle, never just trash worn out things. We are at the age where we have moved beyond impulse and emotional buying, which is what kids tempt you to do (just think of your last vacation).

I realize I did not answer OPs question: never buy on credit anything which is consumed before the bill comes, or which does not appreciate in value. An education is an appreciating asset, but exhaust every conceivable avenue of financial aid before you get a student loan.


#12

LOL, I wish that’d work for my mortgage! :smiley:


#13

We are debt free. We go cash-only. Our house is paid for, cars paid for, and no credit card debt. I hate debt.

If your husband is lazy about it, I suggest getting some of Dave Ramsay’s books and/or materials. He can really make you see how much the “convenience” of credit is costing you.

It’s absurd to buy a $2K item on credit, pay in minimum payments, and end up paying $4K for that item when you include the interest, instead of just saving up the $2K and paying cash.


#14

I too am pretty debt free (except in a few months, God willing, I will buy a condo and begin a mortgage debt).

I do have credit cards and have since 19. Credit cards aren’t a problem if you make a plan to pay them off every month. Then you won’t be paying interest plus you’ll be increasing your FICO score. I have owned two cars in my life, both were paid off years before they were due to be paid off (like 2-3 years before they were suppose to be paid off). Also, car insurance and home insurance are based more and more on that FICO score and as another poster stated, there are plenty of jobs that won’t hire if you’re in huge debt.

I have purchased furniture on the “no interest until so-and-so year” and have taken the alloted time to pay off the furniture before the interest deadline. Many people just hold off on starting to pay until that deadline approaches and are then stuck with still owing even $10 plus all the years of interest because they didn’t pay up before the interest date kicked in.

However, I do believe it is extremely important to come up with a plan and whichever accounts you can have taken directly out of your checking account you should set up to have taken out of your account. When you know you’ll have a bill taken out (that you can’t send in the mail) you’ll avoid late charges and you’ll be sure to make sure that money is in the bank so that you don’t have insufficient funds charges from the bank. Also, balance your checkbook as you go, not when you recieve your monthly statement and when you have extra in your account, begin to deduct those direct withdrawls instead of spending the money. When you are tempted to make a purchase, look in that check book and check your balance. If you write down all your checking account expenses as you go, then you can play with your own mind and not spend as much. Yes, I know that this may sound confusing, but it has worked wonders for me for years and I am under no stress when bill time comes around because I know that I have already deducted the balance due from my checkbook.


#15

Actively trying to be debt free - you betcha.

My wife and I started on a plan in Feb 06 to really grab the reigns of the dollar and get rid of as much as possible as soon as possible. We went gangbusters and in the first 120 days paid off about half of all our debt. Good decision - you bet. In June of 06 our youngest of 2 boys was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer. His treatment of 8+ months meant that even after FMLA, my wife had to resign her job. With medical bills and now living on one salary - thank God - we made those earlier decisions to pay stuff off and save more. We would have been in a much worse financial position had we not taken those steps in that 120 day window.

For now our son is okay, wife is working contract work, but you can bet we will be starting that plan again as soon as our savings are back up - just in case.

Our advice - pay it off now - the rainy days will come - you don’t want to make tough (and usually bad) financial decisions when going through an emotional or health crisis. God Bless.


#16

Oh my. You gave this scrupulous person something new to worry about. Overdue libray books.:frowning: I’m terrible about getting them back on time. It never even occured to me that this was a sin against good stewardship. I wonder how many years in purgatory I’ll have to spend for those overdue books.:confused:


#17

We have a mortgage, and that’s it. Both our vehicles (an '01 & an '02) are paid for. No student loans, no “home improvement” or 2nd’s. Nada.

How to save an extra $100 a month:
Discontinue cable/satellite TV (or cut way back to the basic pack).
Have “delivery pizza” once a month, instead of ?
Buy “house brands” instead of premium goods at the store.
Just doing this is an easy “found” $100 a month towards debt.

You need to work the “system” to your advantage, not the creditors.
Credit Cards - a necessary evil… BUT.

  • Instead of chucking all those “pre-approved” mailings look for the ones with a “points” program, or cash backs.
  • Take advantage of the 0% interest on balance transfer offers. Move your debt to another card/bank and then only be paying the principal back, not the exorbitant interest. (Just watch the fine print - ONE missed/late payment and you’re at 28%!!) Once moved destroy the old card and close the account.

Mortgage:
Look into doing a re-finance. If you can drop 2%+ on a fixed-rate it’s worth doing. Stay away from “arms” or variable-rates. Plain & simple the rates WILL go up. Re-finance with enough “padding” to cover your outstanding debt. Use the value of your house.

Proof?
#1 A few years ago when mortgage rates were spiralling down, we were ready. All of the paperwork was done up, and waiting for us to sign. When we thought it hit bottom, we signed. (missed bottom by 1/8%). Moral of the story: We went from a 30 year note to a 15 year note, rolled ALL outstanding debt into the new mortgage, wound up paying $200 less per month, and will OWN our house in 1/2 the time.

#1b Back in '02 I bought a new truck - $35K worth. Payed for it with a credit card! :eek: The finance guy thought I was nuts, but the little machine said “approved”… sign here please. That purchase was worth enough points for airfare for the 4 of us to Disney World… It also gave me 25 days to shop for the best “conventional” financing I could find, instead of the dealer’s offerings. The loan companies/banks couldn’t see the $35 grand charge yet, as it was “pending”… still within the current month’s statement.

#1c Rolled the truck loan into the house re-finance (#1)… bye bye loan.

Work the system. You’re not being dishonest - just being a smart consumer. Take advantage of the perks they offer. They offer them counting on you to NOT follow through (so they can “back-slam” you and get their money back). They wouldn’t offer them if more people used them in the way I’ve described.

Remember the Golden Rule: Whoever’s got the Gold, makes the Rules!


#18

jay2 : hatsoff2u

wow… way2go


#19

Agreed. Jay2 can you be my financial planner? :smiley:


#20

I think I’ll be keeping you company in purgatory as well, because I am TERRIBLE about overdue library books. :o

I don’t do it on purpose, of course, I’m just very forgetful. :wink:


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