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Christian Debt Relief Counseling covers debt management, consolidation and relief from the Christian perspective, using the Bible as our guide. You may discover a few surprises.

Christian Debt Relief Counseling

Christian debt relief counseling is a phrase that's a little misleading because it implies there is something different or even superior about the counseling being offered.  This isn't to say anyone's trying to mislead, just that the products, procedures and options are the same whether you're a Christian, or not.  The fact is, all good debt and financial management techniques are rooted deeply in the Bible and are, therefore, Christian.  It doesn't matter whether you're talking debt management, consolidation relief or elimination, there is so much Biblical counsel you may not even need counseling.  Here are some of the top-selling books on Christian Debt Relief And Counseling

Christian Debt Management:

There are many debt management companies, who, for a fee, will control your money for you, pay your bills and give you an allowance for optional spending.  This, they will tell you, will get your creditors off your back and allow them to negotiate reduced payments, etc.  If you're on the verge of bankruptcy, this may be a viable option, but not one that is necessarily Biblical.  It sets up a dependency on the management firm and prevents you from learning how to do what the Bible says to do...plan your spending so you have enough money when you need it.  A good counselor will teach you how to do this for yourself.  If you aren't going to do the work to get your spending under control, no program will work.  If you're committed to getting your budget under control, a good Christian Finances and Stewardship Process is probably all you need. 

Debt Consolidation Services:

Based on the spam in my inbox, there is such a thing as Christian debt consolidation.  I'd be really skeptical of anyone offering this.  You see, this is just another kind of loan but usually at a much higher interest rate than that money could cost under other circumstances.  This is because someone who needs a loan to consolidate loans is a high credit risk.  The Bible teaches that debt is slavery, so, I have difficulty accepting that there's anything uniquely Christian about getting a loan.  Here's the deal...if you can consolidate your debt to a lower total payment and a shorter term, then it makes sense to do so.  By no means should you use the equity on your house to pay off credit cards because, though the payment will be lower, the term is 10 years longer.  If we're going to use Christian principles, we need to make decisions that get us out of debt, not just prolong the slavery.

The Bible And Debt:

What are those Christian Principles?  First of all, debt is slavery and you can't serve 2 masters, God and money.  This means the solution to debt isn't more debt.  Maybe you could work six days and rest one.  Maybe you could improve your skill through training or college...a highly skilled person will be promoted.  Maybe you could work harder...laziness is stealing.  These are ways the Bible says we can increase our income.  To decrease our outgo, the Bible says we are to follow a complete spending plan so we don't run out of money.  This usually means saying "no" when it makes you unpopular to yourself and your loved ones.  To get our spending under control and save our house, in 1991, we ate potatoes or rice for dinner 2 nights per week and bought no new clothes for the first year.   By 1997 we had no debt other than our mortgage, were living on 1/5 of our income and saving and giving away the rest.  7 years after that, despite a huge stock market loss and 2 years of no employment, we moved into our new custom home on 20 acres.  Giving is another way the Bible says we can increase our income.  I don't know why it works...I only know it works.

Christian Debt Relief:

For Christians, debt relief is usually something we do for ourselves by following the Biblical guidelines above.  Sometimes, under dire circumstances, and within the law, people have to file bankruptcy to relieve their debt.  This is not something Christians should plan for, because every charge slip we sign is a promise to pay.  Bankruptcy was set up for emergency situations where circumstances outside of your control make debt relief necessary for your family to survive...not as a money management technique.  If you'll use the Christian principles I've given you to discipline your spending and pay down your debt, you will never need debt relief counseling, whether it's Christian or not.

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