Debt Free Living

During some of my reading today, I ended up at Wayne Hurlbert’s blog posting, “Building a Debt Free Company…”

I deal with a lot of small business entrepreurs and Internet based business owners (notice I called them Internet based again instead of that limiting “Internet business” term). And many of them see debt as a normal way of living and doing business.

I don’t. I see it as a horrible way of life.

Before I started my business online, I was in debt up to my ears. I had creditors calling almost every day. Discover called saying I could borrow from my VISA card to pay them. VISA called telling me to borrow from another card to pay them.

I called a credit counseling agency. They looked at all credit card debts and my income. And they told me they couldn’t help. There was nothing they could do and I would never get out of debt without going bankrupt.

Eventually I quit picking up the phone entirely. I couldn’t take the stress of dealing with the debt collectors (later on when I coached for company that helps improve credit scores I got to find out about all the illegal things the debt collectors were doing).

Once I started my online business, it didn’t take long to succeed and produce a good income (a good income to a former pizza delivery driver doesn’t take too long). It took close to two years to completely pay off all my debts (over $50,000 in debts).

Once I got out of debt…I made the committment to never go through that slavery again. Yes, that’s right. You’re not living for yourself or your family if you’re in debt…you’re living to pay the bill collectors. That’s not your stuff. It’s theirs.

I did borrow for my house, but my income was high enough at that point where I paid off the house in one year (quit buying anything else until it was paid).

I’ve had all kinds of “experts” tell me what a mistake that is of course. They say, “You should have a mortgage because of tax benefits…credit history…more investment money.”

The reason doesn’t matter. Remember this. Debt is slavery.

Proverbs 22:7 in the New American Standard edition says, “The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”

You feel different when you’re totally out of debt. You feel freedom. If you’re never been as far down in the dumps as I have, you might not understand just why I value the freedom from debt so much. Also, if you’re never been totally out of debt, I doubt you understand the feeling of freedom you get from that either.

You are free. If you hate working with a client, you fire them. You don’t feel the pressure of debts and bills making you take actions you don’t want to. And you don’t tolerate nearly as much garbage going on around you anymore.

So don’t come telling me why I should take on debt for any reason. The whole mindset is a joke. I do own a credit card both personally and for my business. It does make things easier. I completely pay off those credit cards through their online systems about every two weeks. It’s funny when you see how often they raise my credit lines.

Don’t tell me I need to borrow money to get my credit up. I don’t. I know my most recent FICO score and you’d be hard pressed to come anywhere close. It was 822 on one of the credit reporting agencies (not sure on the others – this one is just so easy to see through one of my credit cards).

I loved being able to pay for a car with cash. Last time I was at a dealership I laughed at them when they wanted to run my credit just to make sure I could get a loan. It’s sad though it’s such a fight for price, because they know they’re not getting extra income from financing.

I talk quite a bit about living debt free in my Christian Financial Freedom book. It’s a Step-by-Step Guide for Walking in God’s Blessings including my whole story (including how some of that debt came from giving), and the spiritual aspects that helped lead me to success online (my Internet Integrity book covers the practical online aspects). You can pick up Financial Freedom at Amazon.com here…

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