Early in my adult life, I unintentionally re-enacted the Bible’s parable of the prodigal son. Just like the prodigal son, I inherited some money ($60,000) from an uncle who passed away). Just like the prodigal son, I traveled to some distant countries (to review golf courses for a newsletter I created for people who take golf vacations). Just like the prodigal son, I spent all of the inheritance (plus another $20,000 on credit cards!). And just like the prodigal son, I came to my senses and returned home. Unlike the prodigal son, though, my story was resolved with the help of a very modern invention — a debt consolidation loan. [br]
Turning the unexpected gift from my uncle into what felt like an insurmountable amount of debt was a life-changing experience. While many aspects of it were painful, embarrassing, and depressing, God ultimately used it to humble me and draw me into a relationship with him. It also woke me up to my need to learn about money (no kidding, right?). Soon enough, I was volunteering with the stewardship ministry at my first church. Eventually, writing and speaking about biblical money management would become my life’s work. I will be forever grateful.
An education in debt
I learned a lot through that experience. As I mentioned, the debts that I incurred were on credit cards. High-interest credit cards. Since then, I’ve come to understand better the important difference between revolving loans and installment loans, such as a debt consolidation loan.
Credit card debt is a revolving debt. There is no fixed payment and no fixed payoff date. If you have a balance, take on no more debt, and make the minimum required payments, those minimum required payments will decline a little bit each month. They’re based on a percentage of your balance and if your balance goes down a little each month, so will your required minimum payment. Making these declining minimum payments is what will keep you in debt for a very long time.
Trading in my revolving debt for an installment loan put an end date on my debt. That was very motivating. Plus, the installment loan came with a much lower interest rate than my credit cards, which meant that getting out of debt would end up costing me less in the long run.
Christian Community Credit Union has recently introduced its MyAdvantage Personal Loan. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation. With rates so low it might be just what you need to speed up the process of getting out of debt and do so at the lowest possible cost.
For information about obtaining a low-interest personal loan from Christian Community Credit Union, CLICK HERE.
Matt Bell is the author of four Biblical money management books published by NavPress. He speaks at churches and conferences throughout the country and writes the MattAboutMoney blog.
This article should not be considered legal, tax, or financial advice. You may wish to consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual financial situation.