Do you want something badly enough to borrow money?
When it comes to debt, it’s a hard concept for me to endorse. I find it very hard to think that there are things I want badly enough that I would take on a debt to buy.
But the general public obviously doesn’t share my concern.
I have a serious case of debt allergies. However, if I’m creative enough (honest enough?) I’m sure there are some things that would cause me to take on debt. So I started trying to think of reasons I might consider taking a debt. Here’s the list of questions that I came up with (the answer to many is still “no” for me):
- Would you go into debt for an adoption?
- Would you go into debt to have another child (medical expenses)?
- Would you go into debt for in vitro?
- Would you go into debt to pay a ransom?
- Would you go into debt to pay for a medical procedure that might save a family member?
- Would you go into debt to fly to see a family member who lives overseas?
- Would you go into debt to buy a car if you had no transportation?
How to Answer Emotionally Packed “should you” Questions
Regardless of the seriousness of the situation, any time you go into debt you must have a plan for how you will get back out of debt. Ask yourself – “Am I willing to take an extra job for “x” number of years so I can do this thing now?” Some of these things might be so costly that there is no possible way for you to repay the loan.
If you know there is no way to repay a debt, by taking a debt you are actually stealing those services. Ask the question this way, would you steal from someone so you could adopt? You must have a get out of debt plan premade and commit to making the sacrifices necessary.
All of these situations are highly emotionally charged. When nerves are on edge you are much more likely to make a serious mistake. Surround yourself with wise and compassionate people.
Pray. You will need wisdom beyond your measure.
Seek a generous benefactor. If the situation is as necessary as you think it is and can really be solved with a handful of dollar bills, you might know someone who would help. Consider talking to your church and explaining the situation.
Pursue other options and avenues that you can afford. Is there a cheaper alternative? Can it be delayed? Is there a government assistance program? Is there a person who could do it pro bono? Again, this is where an outside perspective will be priceless.
- It is almost impossible to answer many of these questions until you have first experienced them. When interacting with someone making this huge choice, we should always humble ourselves and listen closely.
- Financial advisors are not judges, but teachers. Some people who have ‘understandable’ debt feel rejected by blanket statements about debt.
- These situations are extremely rare. Too often, when it comes to debt we offer excuses, not reasons.
- Decisions you make during these emotionally charged times will probably impact you for the rest of your life so you need to get a good support system around you.
- An emergency fund could help you avoid making some very difficult “should I borrow money” questions.
Personally, all I can says is – it would take something massive for me to go into debt! Furthermore, I pray that God never puts me into a situation where I need to test my debt resolve against a major emergency. I’ve done what I can by having an emergency fund in place, but for expenses beyond my emergency fund I can only guess what I’d do.