Christian Debt Solutions
If you are looking for Christian debt solutions it is likely that you are at your financial limit. You can’t take any more – or more specifically, you can’t give any more. There's no longer enough income to get you through the month; or at least you are getting close to your limits.
I know from experience what that feels like. My wife and I were in debt beyond our income three separate times.
The first time we owed about $3,500. On our income that was overwhelming.
The second time we owed $10,000.
The third time we owed about $6,000.
I'm ashamed to say that we didn't learn our lesson the first time – or the second time. Unfortunately, we kept thinking that our only solution to low income was to pay with credit. That mentality lasted about 17 years into our marriage. In some ways, after 25 years, we are still living with the consequences of that mentality. We are suffering from poor Christian debt solutions.
Under Debt Problems?
Do things look hopeless?
Do you feel trapped?
Are there things you wish you could do but can’t because of your debt?
Are you desperate for Christian debt solutions?
I know how you feel.
The first thing I want to tell you is this: there is hope. We are now debt free (except for our mortgage). You can get there too. The road to freedom is hard – don’t think otherwise. But it is doable. If you are committed to getting out of debt – if you are really looking for Christian debt solutions, you can make it work.
Read more about Christian consumer credit counseling
and/or Christian debt consolidation services
. You may also want to consider a debt reduction program called, Mvelopes
Christian Debt Solutions: What Doesn't Work
Before I tell you what works, let me tell you what doesn’t work.
- Working without a plan. You have to plan for your financial future. It's easy to tell yourself that you just need to spend less. But if you don’t develop a plan for spending less, you simply won't do it. You might convince yourself that you are spending less. But without a plan you don’t really know for sure.
- Working without a budget. The first step in planning for your financial future is setting up a budget. There are many products on the market that will help you set up a budget. I recommend Mvelopes
- Expecting that things will improve without pursuing a plan. You have to take action before things will get better. You can't assume that when you get your next raise at work things will improve. You can't wait for a promotion. You can’t wait until things just "get better." Waiting for things to improve without taking action will only delay resolution. You need to pursue Christian debt solutions now – not later.
Christian Debt Solutions: What Does Work
Here are a few things that do work.
- Borrow money from another source to pay off your debt. One of the Christian debt solutions that is often overlooked is borrowing money at a lower interest rate and paying off the higher-interest debt. One way to do this is to seek out friends or family who have the capability of helping. Some may be very happy to help. Borrow money from them and pay off your credit cards. Then pay back your friend or family member a month at a time – even if you need to pay interest.
- Find good Christian consumer credit counseling. Read more here.
- Consider Christian debt consolidation services. Read more here.
- Find creative ways for Christian debt reduction. There are creative ways out there to make additional income without getting a traditional job. But they are hard to find. There are so many scams – especially on the internet. But I personally know people who make dolls, put together jewelry, create craft items and sell them at craft shows, sell things on eBay, and more. I personally operate a Christian work at home job. I own three web sites that earn enough income to pay my mortgage. I truly believe that the sites will eventually earn enough money to provide full-time income for my family. Read my story here.
- Find additional sources of income. I’m sorry to say it, but you might need to do things the hard way. Your Christian debt solution may lie in getting a job. It might be a second job. It might be that your spouse has to go to work. It might be quitting your current job and finding one that provides higher income even if it is not a job you want to do. This is the way we got out of debt the third time. I worked twelve hour shifts doing a job I hated. Another time I worked as a substitute teacher – teaching every age from kindergarten to high school. I'll admit that I was intimidated by the kids. But it was a good source of income: about $100 a day. When we moved out of our house because we could no longer pay the mortgage, I sold insurance and worked in a loud, hot, smelly, machine shop. For the first time since we had children, my wife had to go to work. In the end, you do what you have to do to survive. This may well include finding creative sources of additional income. I now add income to our family by doing a Christian work at home job. I created web sites that provide enough income to pay my mortgage and will eventually pay all my bills. This has really been the best answer for our family.
Christian Debt Solutions: What Finally Worked for Us
What worked for us? I mentioned a few things above, but let me summarize the steps we took in finding Christian debt solutions.
- We put ourselves on a budget. There is nothing more helpful than knowing how much money is coming in and how much you need to allot to each category. In my opinion, there is no better way of doing this than using a program called, Mvelopes.
- We cut up our credit cards. You simply cannot get out of debt if you convince yourself that you will simply do better with your credit cards. Christian debt solutions start with being honest with yourself. You can’t control the use of credit. You need to make a clean break. Cut them up.
- We found a creative source of additional income. As I mentioned above, despite the scams, there are ways to earn extra income without getting a second job. My personal favorite is creating money-making web sites. For me, it has become the best Christian work at home job. Read my story here.
- We kept at these things for the long-term. It probably didn’t take very long to get into debt. If you were careful, your debt might have increased at a slow pace. But no matter how quickly you got into debt, it will take much longer to get out. You have to be willing to keep working – keep sacrificing – for the long term. Yes, it hurts. But the end result is worth it. Financial freedom is something that liberates you to do things you could never do before.
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There is no magic formula for finding Christian debt solutions. It takes hard work. It takes sacrifice. But the end result is freedom – a sense that you have control over your life – no matter how much money you make. You may earn a lot or you might earn very little. But living without debt is possible. And it is wonderfully liberating.
You will never regret finding and successfully fighting through Christian debt solutions.
It will literally transform your life.
Christian Debt Solutions: I Recommend
From my experience I learned a few things. I recommend them to you.
- Don’t give up. Along the way it will be tempting to give up. It is a very hard process. Please don’t give up. The end may seem far away. But it is possible. You can do it. You can find the freedom of living debt free!
- Giving up will get you deeper into debt. You might pay off half your debt but then get discouraged. You might feel like you will never be able to finish the process. The bills keep coming and you can’t keep up. You think the only alternative is to use your credit cards. But I learned this the hard way – if you give up now you won’t just get back into the same situation: it will get worse. If you were in debt $5,000, you will eventually owe $7,500. If you were in debt $10,000, you will eventually owe $15,000. You won’t just get back to the debt you previously had. You will get deeper into debt. Your situation will get worse. Don’t think that giving up will just keep things the way they are now. They will get worse.
- Don’t use credit, period. If you have a mortgage, keep paying that. But otherwise, don’t use credit cards. In fact, cut them up and throw them away. Only use your debit card. Pay with money you have – don’t push your debts to next month. I’ve had people tell me that using credit cards is not a bad thing as long as you pay off the balance at the end of each month. Don’t fall into that trap! It works for some people, but it obviously didn’t work for us, and based on your history, it probably won't work for you. That is how you got into trouble in the first place – thinking that you will just pay it later. But later becomes two months, then three, then six. One day you get a bill you didn’t expect and you have no way to pay because you are paying so much on your credit cards. Then you have to put more on your credit card to pay the bill. That cycle just continues. So don’t use credit, period – no exceptions. This is perhaps the greatest of my Christian debt solutions.
- The cheapest car you will ever own is the one you have now. I credit Larry Burkett for this suggestion. One of the biggest mistakes my wife and I made early in our marriage is the belief that a car with high mileage is a liability. But you are looking for Christian debt solutions. So realize that the truth is that usually, the repairs you have to make to your car cost less than a monthly car payment. And while we are on the subject of vehicles, I recommend that you never lease a vehicle. Leasing just locks you into a cycle of continuous car payments. Pay off your car as quickly as possible and then keep it. When I was a kid we would think it amazing if a car lasted beyond 100,000 miles. One of the vans I have right now has 130,000 miles on it and the other has 230,000. But the repair costs are far lower than the payments on a newer car.
- Be smart with student loans. It’s hard to get through college or seminary these days without taking on debt. After 15 years, we are still paying on a college loan. After taking on that debt we were insistent that we don’t take out any more education loans. We got through seminary without paying a single dime of our own money for the $30,000 education. God was gracious. He will not always do that for everyone. But work as hard as you can to take on as little educational debt as possible. This might extend your time in college or seminary because you have to work more hours at a job. But it is worth it in the end.
- Take advantage of student loan provisions. Student loans have provisions providing for financial hardship. Call the bank or company that has your loan and ask them about forbearance and or deferment. Ask them about all the options you have for delaying the repayment of your loan. You may not have to pay anything on your student loan for several years. Take that money and apply it to your other debts.
- Use any and every creative opportunity to earn extra money. If someone is willing to pay you to paint their house – do it. If someone needs a dog-sitter and will pay – take in the flea infested beast. If a family needs someone to watch their child after school for a couple hours, take on that responsibility. If you can help it, don’t turn down any income opportunity.
- Let people know that you are willing to do odd jobs for pay. Talk to your pastor and/or church leaders. Let them know of your situation. Tell them that if they hear about any opportunities, you will be happy to help.
- Look into government assistance. I know. You don’t want to do this. But there are programs that can help you buy food, pay for medical expenses, and help pay utility bills. Don’t let pride stand in the way of getting the financial assistance your family needs.
Christian Deb Solutions Conclusion
It’s easy to go into debt. It’s painful to get out. But fighting through the process of freeing yourself from debt will prove to be a joyfully liberating experience. It will open your life to so many more opportunities. And you won’t have that constant burden weighing you down.
The hard work is essential. It is worth it. You can do it!
Read more about Christian debt solutions: Christian consumer credit counseling and/or Christian debt consolidation services.
Or learn the ten principles of the debt free Christian.