Most people in the United States have dealt with debt and the stress that comes with it at least once in their lives, if not on a continuous basis. Are you aware that applying your faith to your finances can help you overcome debt?
Debt can be one of life’s most crushing adversaries because it seems like an omnipresent force. Many stages of life require you to take on debt. These important life steps may seem more like debt traps to some people as each obligation adds more strain to your budget.
If you can’t pay off debt, your credit is put at risk. If your credit declines, then you may be on the hook for higher interest rates, adding more strain. Thus the vicious cycle of debt begins.
What Problems Can Debt Cause?
Debt can negatively impact you by straining your mind, body, and finances. As mentioned, life throws plenty of financial obstacles at you, and oftentimes, taking on debt is the only way to approach them.
Here are a couple of examples. Many individuals take out student loans to get an education, which often leads to high student loan payments for over 10 years. When you want to start a life in a new home, you apply for a mortgage, which hooks you into monthly payments for the next 15 to 30 years. Each obligation may contribute to a higher debt-to-income ratio (DTI).
A high DTI can cause serious problems. In short, a high DTI means you are devoting large portions of income to paying off debt which leaves you with less to spend on essentials. Thus, you are more likely to rely on credit to cover the essentials, adding to your debt. If this happens continuously, your credit score often suffers as a result, which may drive the cost if your debt. This cycle can create enormous financial strain which can then affect your mind and spirit.
Money is the number one stressor in America. Stress can psychologically hurt you by causing depression, anxiety, and more. Stress is also physically unhealthy, leading to problems such as headaches and increased risks of heart attack and stroke in the long term.
However, debt is not an insurmountable obstacle. Oftentimes in times of trouble, faith offers guidance and inspiration. Some people can rely on faith for the motivation they need to get back on their feet and tackle their debt, with a determination to overcome debt.
How Faith Can Help You
Thankfully, your faith can help you overcome any obstacle, including financial and mental obstacles. Consider the core traits of patience, being steadfast, positivity, optimism, hope, and more. These qualities are often promoted by the faithful, and they can be extremely helpful in all walks of life – especially when dealing with money issues.
Debt management requires considerable patience and diligence. You are in it for the long haul and will need to work for consistent income by sticking to a repayment plan. At the same time, you need to build credit during repayment for better opportunities down the road.
For example, some consumers try refinancing their mortgages or student loans. However, mortgage refinancing requires 20% home equity as well as great credit. Student loan refinancing requires great credit and high income to qualify. Diligent repayment is a key component to building credit which is an absolute necessity before refinancing mortgages or student loan debt.
These are just two examples where faith can help. The same is true for other debts whether you’re sticking to a debt avalanche repayment method on credit cards or trying to refinance an auto loan. You need to be ready financially for these, and it requires patience and diligence to get there.
Financial stress can be harmful, but oftentimes, optimism and hope can contribute to successful stress management. Staying steadfast and positive can help calm your mind, and patience goes a long way in combating money stress. These attitudes can really change your outlook and have a positive impact on your mental health.
Faith can be an important guide during times of stress and financial difficulties. Applying patience, positivity, and diligence to debt repayment and day-to-day spending can be instrumental in meeting your financial goals. The same can be said for your mental health; hope is a powerful attitude. There is a positive mental benefit to applying faith to finance, which can make all the difference throughout life.
Andrew Rombach is a Content Associate for LendEDU – a website that helps consumers with their finances. He grew up learning how to apply faith, hope, and positivity to daily life. He found that these virtues can be applied to many different parts of life, including finance. You can find his writing in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Bloomberg.
Oh by the way, join us as Melanie Redd and I discuss Finding Calm in the Chaos of working with millennials on GraceAndTruthRadio.World on Friday June 21 at 3:30 pm Central Time.
PS-Want to see more about the debt-to-income ratio for students graduating? Here’s a link to the full report: https://lendedu.com/blog/debt-to-income-student-loans-study/