Deciding Debt Was Not An Option
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave. Proverbs 22:7
I am only recently becoming aware of how prevalent the use of school loans for college are in our country. I meet more and more young people with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt that simply drags them down and hinders their ability to flourish in life. As a Christian I see it as another way our enemy seeks to put fetters upon the people of God, limiting their ability to be generous toward the Kingdom of God. I find that money is the primary issue alongside pornography that requires counsel and it is also what receives the most push back when biblical options are considered.
Strangely enough debt can be resolved relatively easily if the person is willing to attack it like any other problem–with no mercy. If the person believes that God wants them to still have a newer car, a nice apartment, internet and a smartphone then there is little that will be done. But once one makes the critical turn in thinking and relieves himself of these hindrances then much can be accomplished.
Take Ken Ilgunas as an example. Finished his undergraduate degree with no job options and a 32,000 debt. What to do? Go into more debt and get an advanced degree? Go camp out at some 99% protest group and claim victimhood? Just default and assume that his debt would be lost in the shuffle of all the others who walk away from their responsibilities? Nope, he made an adult’s decision and carried it out.
First he got a job up in Alaska where the good money is. His job paid 9.00 an hour and by living carefully paid off over 18,000 of the debt. Then he got a better job and paid off the rest of the debt in another 2 1/2 years. When he decided to return for an advanced degree he refused to go back into debt and that is where the story gets very interesting. I won’t ruin it here, just read the whole thing for yourself, it is worth it.
I saw a man who made a mistake and learned from it. I saw a man who was willing to make sacrifices for the purpose of a greater goal. And I saw a man who achieved that goal with no regrets (except maybe identifying the school so that they now make what he did against the rules).
At my old church when someone came into for debt counseling the first thing the counselor would do after sizing up the problem was make them cut their credit cards up and write letters to all the companies canceling their account. Often he recommended they sell their newer cars and buy older ones. If they owned a home and they were in bad debt then they should sell the home and downsize. No more eating out, no more vacations, no more cable TV and no more internet until the debt was paid. Those who bought into it were helped by the church short term and they all were shocked at how quickly they caught things up. Those who gave push back ended up losing most of those things anyhow but with a reputation now of being unfaithful in word and deed.
What about you? Would you give up most of the comforts you enjoy for the purpose of removing debt off of your back? Would you refuse to enter college without having saved the first year’s tuition? Are you willing to work full time if necessary so as to pay for school as you go? Just stuff to think about.