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Payday and Installment Loans – Deadly Debt to Avoid

Chuck Bentley on 8/26/16 9:00 AM

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To our email subscribers: "Going Down: Tips for Dealing with College Debt" will be published next Friday, September 2. We apologize for any inconvenience

Originally posted at Christian Post August 26, 2016.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck, 

What is your view of payday lending? It seems like Crown would have some insight on the perils of such loans and whether there are alternative ways to secure a “small-dollar loan” such as through church lending clubs, or some other means.

Considering my options

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Are you drowning in debt and feeling hopeless?

I want to encourage you, that while it may take time, you can begin recovering today by setting a goal of getting debt free. Make up your mind that you don’t want to live like this any longer, and then follow a step-by-step plan. 

I’ve found in working with other people facing the same struggle, that it generally takes about 5 - 7 years to become fully free, so understand that it’s really about changing your mindset and making a lifestyle change to accomplish your goal.

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Here’s an out of the box idea: Start a business while in college!

Think you could juggle a full course load and start a successful business?

An article at Time.com reports that starting a business in college has many advantages because young entrepreneurs are exposed to networking opportunities with alumni, have excellent exposure to professors’ expertise, and essential classes in technology or finance. The Kauffman Foundation states that 1/3 of business incubators are now based at universities.

Interested? Scott Gerber, co-founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council offers these tips:

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Do you love your work?

I saw a great story of a 93-year-old South Dakota woman who has finally retired after more than seven decades working as a nurse.

Alice Graber celebrated her retirement with a big party.

"I told them that [a party] wasn't necessary and the director, Shirley Knodel, she said, 'Oh no, we've got to do something here for you,'" Graber told ABC News. "I [had fun] because of all the people coming and going that congratulated me. It was almost overwhelming, she said."

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Do you have a negative wealth?

“According to the New York Federal Reserve, 14% of the U.S. population lives in households that have ‘negative' wealth."

In plain terms, these are households who owe more money than they have the ability to pay, which means they don’t just have zero net worth, they are upside down.

But what does a negative wealth household look like?

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Homeowner Headache: Refinancing or Recasting at Mortgage?

Originally posted at Christian Post August 19, 2016.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can ask Chuck your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

My husband and I own a home and are trying to decide if we should change our mortgage to get in better financial health. I read recently about “recasting” a mortgage, which sounds a lot like a fishing term! Is that something worth considering? We’ve been looking into refinancing. What is the difference?

Confused on Recasting

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Are you stressed over your medical bills?

I recently received this question:

My husband and I could really, really use some financial advice. We are both in our 20's, have a baby, and have been married for a little over 4 years. Unfortunately, we've acquired quite a bit of debt, mostly from medical bills because I did not have insurance. But we do have some debt from other sources also. I was wondering if going through a Christian debt consolidation company would be a good way to go. I'm very overwhelmed and would appreciate any help. 

She is certainly not alone in struggling with this issue. About 1 in 5 people under age 65 who have insurance reported difficulties in paying for medical debt, according to a survey sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and New York Times. However, for people without insurance that number rose to more than 50%!

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Want to know how to avoid fighting about money and have a better marriage?

My wife and I are working on a book together right now on this topic. It will be published and available early next year, but in the meantime we will share some of our tips and advice. 

In every home, it is vital that at least one of you takes the responsibility to be the Peacemaker. Now it is even better if you are both assuming this responsibility, because it is almost impossible to avoid misunderstandings, hurts, and stress over money in any home. The question is not if you will have stress and arguments, but how you will resolve them.

Nicky Gumbel, founder of the Alpha Course, has a wonderful way to frame the role of the peacemaker. It is worthy of writing on a note and posting it in your home to see everyday. 

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When was the last time you only carried cash in your wallet?

Yahoo Finance recently reported that paying with cash helps you save and gives you more joy. Avni Sha, a professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, studied the effect of paying with cash and says it does indeed make us more frugal and adds positive emotion to transactions. Further, it potentially promotes repeat business.

On July 16th, 2016, Ethan Wolff-Mann at finance.yahoo.com reported that shopping with cash is one way to stick to your budget and limit impulse spending tendencies. 

Cash forces you to consciously think about what you are buying. Rather than blindly using your credit card and deferring payment, cash forces you to make that decision at checkout. It enables you to say “No” when your children ask or beg for things that they do not need. Each dollar you physically spend leaves less in your wallet. And, that causes a pain that we need to occasionally experience.

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Have you thought about purchasing an annuity?

Chuck Bentley on 8/15/16 8:00 AM

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If you are 66 years old and someone offered to sell you an annuity with these terms: For $260,000, you will receive back $1,300/month for the rest of your life. Would you take it? 

Far too many decide for this option without doing the math. David Marotta had an excellent article in Forbes Magazine examining this very scenario.  Careful analysis reveals that the insurance company will be paying you back the money you gave them for the next 16 years and 8 months or until you are nearly 83 years old. Only then will you begin earning anything over and above what you originally handed over to them.  If you live to be 100, your return on investment will equal about 4.5%.  But remember, at age 66, life expectancy is only to age 85.  So the odds are greatly in favor of the insurance company that they will only be paying you back the money you gave them in the first place.

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