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Christian Debt Management Services – Do They Help?
I had some sad news the other day. During lunch with a dear Christian friend, a man in his sixties, he abruptly told me that he was bankrupt. He said he was talking with counsellors about debt consolidation.
I knew that for years he had been struggling financially, and I had even given him some money, but I didn’t realise things were so bad. My advice to him was to try to find some kind of Christian debt management service, to help him sort out his finances.
But we live in Australia, and I don’t think that Christian debt management services exist here. So he is talking with a financial adviser at the local town council, and is probably going to write to his bank (his debt mainly involves his credit card) to offer a token payment. He has lived a frugal life and has no assets to speak of, so it seems likely the bank will reluctantly accept the offer.
But it got me thinking about Christian debt management services. What are they? Do they do a good job?
I did a Google search, and the first website that came up was the Credit Infocenter, which had very bad things to say about debt consolidation services. In fact, they advise against all such companies. About one particular Christian debt management company they advised avoiding it “or any name with ‘Christian’ in it. I mean really - how scummy can you get to play the religion card?”
Is this good advice? I note that there are many, many Christian debt consolidation companies in the US. Whether they are all just playing the “religion card” I simply don’t know.
But I do know that Christians can fall into debt just like anyone else. And when that happens they need help. I suspect a loving church and friends are best. Can Christian debt management agencies also help? Unfortunately, I still don’t know.
April 5th, 2006