Money Wise

Getting Out of Debt


Getting Out of Debt

With home mortgages, school loans, and car loans, young couples today may owe more than $140,000 within the first couple of years of marriage. This may seem normal to many, but God’s Word says debt isn’t normal, especially long-term debt (see Deuteronomy 15:6; Psalm 37:21; Romans 13:8).

Become debt free

If you’re already in debt, you can break the debt cycle with desire, discipline, and time. Using these five basic steps you can become debt free and stay that way.

  1. Transfer ownership
    God forces His will on no one; you must willingly surrender your will and possessions to God. Prayerfully transfer ownership of every possession to God – money, job, time, material possessions, family, education, and future earning potential (see Psalm 8:6).

  2. Give the Lord His part
    Once you’ve transferred ownership to God, give Him the first part, the tithe of gross income. If you withhold from God, it indicates that ownership hasn’t been transferred. Give Him freedom to work unobstructed on behalf of your finances – give Him the tithe – and He can give us His best.

  3. Allow no more debt
    Don’t use any more credit or credit cards until all existing debt has been paid. Pay with cash, check, or debit card at the time of purchase. Don’t borrow any more money from institutions, family, or friends until all indebtedness (home mortgage excepted) has been satisfied.

  4. Develop a realistic budget
    You’ll need a written budget that allocates percentages of Net Spendable Income into living expense categories – including repayment of creditors. Write to each creditor with a repayment proposal, but promise only what can be paid every month. Include a financial statement and budget that shows how much will be paid to each creditor.

    If you need to generate extra funds by working overtime or on an extra job, all money generated by the extra work must go to eliminate the debt for this to be effective.

  5. Retire the debt
    Pay extra on the debts with the highest interest rates. If all interest rates are comparable, begin paying extra on the smallest balance. After that debt has been paid, apply the regular payment as well as the extra money that was going to it toward the next highest balance. After the second is paid off, then the third highest and so forth.

No one who is financially bound can be spiritually free. Generally speaking, if these steps are faithfully followed, the average family can usually be debt free in about five years.

Accomplishing debt freedom can produce a radical change in lifestyle and a reevaluation of family values that can help prevent similar debt situations from recurring.