Dealing with Overwhelming Debt

An excerpt from the Close To Home Series pamphlet.

“We needed someone”*

David and Joanne found themselves reluctantly meeting a credit counselor. A lavish Christmas season had left them with crippling credit card debt. “I don’t know where the money goes,” Joanne lamented. When the counselor talked about trimming expenses, David was quick to protest, pointing out that he had an obligation to his extended family.

As the counselor explored their spending habits, he found that Joanne rarely got involved in managing their finances, and David admitted, “I avoid paying bills because I dread it.” The edge in their voices showed that they hated to talk about money with each other, let alone with a stranger. …

*Based on a true story; names are fictional

The edge in their voices showed that they hated to talk about money with each other, let alone with a stranger.

The problem of debt

Most people need to borrow money for major life events such as education, buying a house, or even a car. Sometimes circumstances beyond anyone’s control force people into debt. Financial downturns in the economy cause businesses to fail and leave people unemployed. Serious illness takes people out of the workforce and leaves them with large medical bills.

Often, however, overwhelming debt can be a result of overspending. In North American culture, debt has become viewed as normal and almost expected. There is little awareness that some debt is good (money invested for training, or to purchase assets that will rise in value), and some debt is bad (for temporary pleasure like vacations or things that quickly loose their value). People forget that everything that is borrowed needs to be repaid – with interest! …

Debt, the Bible, and the Christian story

You are not alone when you face overwhelming debt. God cares about you, and the Christian community can help you and walk with you on this difficult road.
We all fail. Too often, we accept society’s message that our money is our own private business, and that we should be self-sufficient. But the church lives by different values. …

If you are overwhelmed with debt…

Seek help.
Take practical measures.
Prioritize your debts.
Consider debt consolidation.
Is bankruptcy an option?

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