This week lesson in our series on honoring God with our money covers way to deal with debt and to build credit. Today we will look at steps to pay off debts and ensure that debt does not entrap.
Steps to Dealing with Debt
1) Determine in your heart to repay all your debts, as the Lord enables you.
Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.
2) Establish a payment schedule that includes all creditors.
- Make a list of all debts from smallest to largest and/or according to interest rate.
- Determine to first pay off either (1) the smallest debt or (2) the debt with the highest rate of interest.
- Make minimum payments on all debts but the one to be paid off first.
- Allocate as much money as possible each month to paying off the debt being retired first.
- When one debt is paid off, concentrate efforts on the next debt to be paid off.
3) Contact creditors and asks for a lower interest rate. Many lenders will lower the interest rate to avoid default.
4) Contact all creditors, honestly relate your problems, and arrange an equitable repayment plan.
5) Buy on a cash basis, and sacrifice your wants and desires until you are current. Allow God to meet your needs without taking on more debt.
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him
6) Do not cosign for another person unless you are able and willing to pay off the debt if he/she cannot do so.
Proverbs 22:26-27 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.
7) Do not count on future raises to pay for today’s expenses.
James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
If you are dealing with overwhelming debt, you may need to seek assistance from a debt counselor. Also seek help from the One who supplies all of our needs. God wants to help you and is waiting for you to bring your burdens to Him. Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Please feel free your tips for dealing with debt.