Do it Yourself Credit Repair Kit

It was one of those rare moments of total, unvarnished truth. Ronny and I had known one another since college days. We were close friends and Christian brothers. Over the years we had shared a lot of very private struggles. We had confessed and prayed together. But this particular conversation was giving me a glimpse into Ronny’s soul. After years of financial chaos Ronny and his wife had hit a brick wall. For more than a year they had been aggressively paying off debts and getting their financial house in order. Finally, they were beginning to see a light at the end of a very long tunnel. Happily, Ronny reported that within another year they would be out from under a mountain of debt to the IRS and a legion of creditors. He told me how hard the struggle had been. It had been as though they were trying to run a footrace in leg irons. They were always so preoccupied trying to meet the monthly bills—there wasn’t much time for anything else. And although Ronny knew that God teaches us not to be stressed and worried—he had a tough time living a carefree lifestyle.

That was nearly ten years ago. Today, Ronny and his wife are doing fine. They aren’t rich, and because of the past problems, they’re probably not as far along on retirement planning as they would like to be. But, all in all, the pressure has let up and life is easier. Old obligations have been met, and they own a nice home. As I share this story, I probably should also tell you that Ronny is a minister. Yes, that’s right. You may be thinking: Don’t preachers know better than to make the same financial mistakes the rest of us do? I suppose that Ronny would agree that, if he didn’t know better, at least he should have known better. But just because Ronny spends his life sharing the love of Jesus with others doesn’t mean he’s immune to the problems of this world. Ronny is a product of his upbringing. He had been raised in a Christian home, but it didn’t include very much teaching about financial matters.

Being Ready to Travel Light

Today, Ronny would be the first to tell you that a Christian cannot be at his or her best when overcome with debt. What if Ronny and his wife had been given an opportunity to move to a new mission field while he was so deep in debt? And, what if the new position only paid half his present salary? What would he have done? He would have been faced with two bad options: Take the new ministry, and go deeper into debt; or pass up the opportunity all together.

I believe that God wants all of His children to be ready to “travel light.” He wants us to be ready to hear His call, pull up stakes, and go where He sends. For some of us that may literally involve packing our bags and moving to a new area. In other cases, it may mean adopting a simpler lifestyle that allows us to minister more effectively. For others, it may mean clearing out some of the obligations that clutter our lives so we can give more of our time to Kingdom work.

Unfortunately, many of us aren’t in a position to travel at all. We have too many obligations. We have TV’s and boats to pay for. We’re upside down on our car loans. Ours homes have second and third mortgages. We have bought too many things we didn’t need with money we didn’t have. Now, we’re stuck. If we ignore our obligations we can lose our honor and dignity—to say nothing of our witness. How can a person share Jesus with a creditor who he hasn’t paid and is attempting to avoid? But the alternative isn’t good either. Because we are left on the shore waving goodbye to the ship of missed opportunities as it leaves port.

In this chapter, I want to give you some helpful tips on how to repair your credit. I want to give you hope. And, I want you to know that God is big enough and wise enough to help you through the maze.

Not To Be Overly Simplistic, But…

In my world, things are pretty simple. I don’t see as much gray area as some people do. Despite the fact that we spent eight years with a President that had a hard knowing what the meaning of “is” is—I don’t believe many really important things are terribly complex. A child knows when her parent loves her. Usually, we know when we’ve been unkind to someone. Most young people intuitively know when they have crossed the line between romance and lust.

So, maybe it won’t come as a big surprise when I tell you that I believe there are four keys to successfully cleaning up a bad credit history:
1) Be truthful. To your creditors, your spouse—and especially to yourself.
2) Be available. Never run from a creditor. Larry Burkett says, “It’s best for debtors to run to creditors, not away from them.” Be open, forthright, and cooperative.
Remember, you’re not in this mess because of your creditor. You’re where you are because of bad decisions on your part.
3) Commit to make things right. Need I say more?
4) Stay before God in prayer. Commit it all to the Father. Trust Him to
be your best Friend. One passage that has blessed me over the years comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He tells us that God’s hand is on us and, despite temptations to take shortcuts; there is a better way:

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV)

The book No Debt No Sweat! gives a complete strategy for getting your good credit (and your good name) back with topics like:
7 Steps To Rebuilding Your Credit
A Sample Letter To Dispute and Correct Errors On Your Credit Report
6 Other Things You Can Do To Reduce Debt
What About Credit Repair Companies?
Are Bill Consolidation Loans A Good Idea?
A 3-Step “To Do” List Before Getting A Bill Consolidation Loan

No Debt No Sweat Christian Financial Management

NO DEBT, NO SWEAT!

No Debt, No Sweat! shows Christians how to free themselves from the bondage of financial pain. It is written for people who are financially sound and looking for investment strategies as well as people who are in financial turmoil and need a successful plan for getting out of debt.

Price: $19.00 (353 pages)

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Steve’s No Debt No Sweat! teachings on Christian money management have had a profound effect on people around the world. People are learning to live within their means. Some are able to give more. Marriages are closer. Others have learned how to avoid bankruptcy. Instead of pandering to the “wealth and prosperity” teachings that are so popular today, Steve gives clear, simple, practical solutions with a Biblical base. This stuff really works!

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