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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You're Still Treated Like a Slave When You Borrow

Proverbs 22:7 (ESV) 7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

I just returned from lunch. The waitress (server in now speak) was very nice. I tried to be nice to her. I gave her a tip. I thanked her for her service. I hope I didn't treat her like a slave. I never thought of her as one.

Meanwhile, I am trying to refinance my house. I have talked with several lenders. I don't know why some of them talk down to me. I just want to refinance. Some of them act as if they are doing me a favor. I thought I was the customer. I realized that I am really the slave.

Borrowers are always at the mercy of the lenders. I know it makes no sense. Borrowers should be buying the product from the lenders but lenders still treat them like they are slaves. Shouldn't this be a warning?

I realize that a home is more than most people can affort without borrowing. I am certainly not in a position to do so. But borrowing should be the last resort for basic needs. It should not be used at all for discretionary spending. It should be used as little as possible for needs. Otherwise, the person should expect to be treated as a slave for borrower will always be at the mercy of the lender.

Many times I find the conflict in marriage stems from one of the two people borrowing money. Sometimes a spouse is surprised to learn that the new partner comes into the relationship with a boat load of debt. The spouse assumes half of it if there is no prenuptual agreement. This doens't solve the problem. Since nothing has changed to stop the borrower, the borrowing will continue.

Budgets are hard to live on. I don't like making one out. I use a simple rule. I don't buy things without talking it over with my spouse. She and I decide and we don't buy unless the money is in the bank. This has allowed us more freedom in our marriage than you would imagine. We don't have to answer to any lenders with the exception of our mortgage company for thirty years. We haven't even originated a car loan in thirty years. (We did pay off a car that one of our daughters bought.)

Some might consider us slaves to our bank accounts. I guess that is so. We don't spend it if it isn't in the bank account. We purposefully make ourselves a slave to that rule. It is a whole lot better than listening to someone talk down to us because we are borrowing money.

Do we use credit cards? Absolutely but there is money in the bank to cover them. Credit cards are used for their convenience, airline miles and cash back. We don't have any credit cards without return benefits. If the price is the same whether or not we use a credit card; we use a credit card.

I have to admit that I didn't like being humbled by the potential lenders. I probably needed the humility but I still didn't like it. It made me remember why I don't borrow money for anything except our house.

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