Debt seeks to secure our happiness now by committing to pay more for it later. Regardless of how much debt you have accumulated, learn some biblical and practical steps to reduce your debt now, and remove the opportunity to increase more debt later.
Proverbs on Debt
- Prov. 11:15 – Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.
- Prov. 17:18 – One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
- Prov. 22:7 – The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
- Prov. 22:26-27 – Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?
- Prov. 27:13 – Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
- Prov. 28:25 – A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
Other Verses on Debt
- Rom. 13:7 – Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
- Rom. 13:8 – Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
- Ps. 37:21 – The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.
The Danger of Debt
- Highlights Symptomatic Problem – Debt can be an external symptom of an internal problem.
- High-Interest Rates – When your purchases incur high-interest rates, you pay an unreasonable amount more than what something is worth, and you are hindered from future opportunities.
- Deceitful Minimum Payments – Paying the minimum payment on a debt is extending the life of a loan and raising the amount ultimately paid.
- Subtle Depreciating Value – Most purchases depreciate in value, which means you will possibly owe more than the value itself.
- Increasingly Burdensome Situation – Debt increases your potential of being a burden on others and reduces your opportunity of being a blessing to others.
The Determinants of Debt
- Home Mortgage – Do not have a mortgage payment that is more than 25% of your take-home pay.
- Car Loan – Due to a car’s significant depreciating value, avoid a car loan if at all possible.
- Student Loan – Regarding student loans, determine if the value is worth the cost, and evaluate what type of schooling is absolutely necessary.
- Credit Cards – If you are unable to pay the full monthly amount of your credit cards, consider eliminating them altogether.
The Decrease of Debt
- Reduce your current debt by making a persistent and progressive plan.
- Remove the opportunity to go into further debt by fighting for contentment and planning for spending.
- Utilize the Debt Snowball effect by paying off your debts (not including your home mortgage) in order of the lowest to the highest balance.
- With each successful debt removal, apply the completed payment to the subsequent debt.
- $500 medical bill – $50 payment
- $2,500 credit card debt – $63 payment
- $7,000 car loan – $135 payment
- $10,000 student loan – $96 payment
- If you paid the minimum, you would maintain these debts for 10 years and 10 months.
- If you had an extra $500 each month, you could pay off all of your debt in 27 months.
- Pay off the medical bill in 1st month.
- Pay off credit card debt at $613 a month in 4 months.
- Pay off the car loan at $748 a month in 10 months.
- Pay off student loans at $844 in 12 months.
- You would pay off $20,000 of debt in only 27 months.
- Then, you have $844 unrestricted money every month.
- List them out.
- Order them by amount.
- Pay the minimum on all.
- Pay any possible extra on the smallest.
- Once one debt is paid, apply the entire payment to the next debt in line.
- Repeat until all debts are paid.
- Refrain from incurring any unnecessary debt.