Easy Credit Isn’t Really Easy

I felt rich! I had a wallet full of credit cards at my disposal!

Yep, that was me for sure. In my early 20’s, with gas companies, department stores and banks sending me credit cards. As I recall, back then I would often carry 10-15 shiny, brightly colored plastic cards in my pocket. They gave me a sense of well-being, a sense of security. Life felt good!

The problem with easy credit is that there are always banking institutions willing to give you more money than you have the ability to repay. If you need to borrow a thousand dollars for an unexpected need because you have not set aside dollars for that purpose, the lending institutions will try to give you several thousand more than you actually need. While at first blush that may give you great pride and confidence, thinking that someone really believes in you, in reality, the only way a bank makes money is to lend it out.

If you receive seven or eight thousand dollars and you only needed one thousand, rest assured—you will find a way to spend the extra. It will disappear before you know where it went. The less you borrow, the less you pay back and the more you have available to give to missions and the needs of others. Credit should always be the exception and not the rule.

One of the problems with obtaining credit is that you are presuming that nothing is going to change for the worse in the future. You are assuming you, and if married, your spouse will have adequate income for repayment, that your jobs are secure and that your income stream will be the same or more in later years.

There is a danger in making assumptions. It could be that your intended source of repayment changes. Jobs are lost; the value of stocks and bonds can decline or even disappear; assets may not appreciate as quickly as anticipated or may even lose their value.

“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’” (James 4:13-15 NIV).

What is the most amount of credit cards that you have possessed at any one time? Leave your comment and let us know!

Content © Rich Brott, 2011

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