Debtor’s Prison

August 14, 2007

I was out of work off and on for almost two years. We had a healthy chunk of debt when I lost my job, but never missed a payment. I think the phrase is “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.” During my unemployed period, our debt doubled.

I now have a wonderful job. I work full time, and make decent money. But at a time when we should be socking aside our second income for retirement, the only thing being retired is our debt. I could go to school, for free, but I have debt. I work full time in service to our debt. I’m trapped by it.

Just like breaking the word of wisdom can lead to addiction and viewing porn can distort our relationships and breaking the Sabbath can take us down a secular, materialistic path with no time for meditation or reflection or rest, debt binds us. We lose options. We are no longer our own masters. We are enslaved. Interest must be paid.

New federal guidelines recommend that the minimum payment on revolving credit now include 1% of the principal balance in addition to interest and fees. Just 1%! And yet, not long after a bank announced that they were implementing those guidelines, they also offered to double the interest if I want to continue to use the account. They have to make up that lost income somehow.

The counsel on debt by church leaders strikes me as truly prophetic. We willingly enslave ourselves for things. Sometimes the things we want are worthwhile, but we are nonetheless enslaved when we go into debt for them.

Stay out. If you’re in, get out. It’s a trap.

One comment

  1. We were double-income for a long time and it was mostly for paying off student loans and debt incurred while my husband started up a new company. It’s hard looking back and not screaming “why didn’t we save more”!

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