Credit card debt may be burdensome, but is it a sin? To some, it is.
Though some debt is good, like buying a home or covering emergency medical expenses, purchasing things beyond your means is categorized as greed and is thus a sin, according to a post on Christian-based money blog Faith and Finance written by Alex Humphrey, an author and financial coach.
Humphreys quoted Romans 6: 16-18 in the article, which says that new Christians are no longer “slaves of sin” but have become “slaves of righteousness” through conversion.
“As Christians, we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness — to God,” Humphreys wrote. “With credit cards, we’re not just slaves to the lender (though, we are), but also slaves to a greater sin: greed.”
Loans are spending more money than you have, which is overspending and poor stewardship of the amount of money God has given you to handle, Humphreys said.
Of course there are others who don’t agree with Humphreys.
Peter Andrew compared credit card debt to religious proselytizing in an article on indexcreditcards.com.
Both require a rough period of redemption, peace is offered to people who succeed and those who try to save the spiritually or financially lost “risk coming across as self-righteous and preachy,” Andrew wrote.
The author doesn’t believe this is a reason to condemn the debtor.
“All too often, those with credit card debt are portrayed as stupid, weak-willed and morally bankrupt,” Andrew said in his article. “Crack addicts get more sympathy, so it's no surprise that many would prefer to stick their heads deep in the sand rather than face society's opprobrium by facing up to their problems. This works against the best interests of everyone: borrowers, lenders and society.”
This condemnation may be problematic for Americans who suffer from overwhelming debt.
A recent report from Bankrate.com shows that one in four Americans has more credit card debt than emergency savings. Of the respondents in the poll, 27 percent said they have lower financial security compared to last year.
“Long-term unemployment, stagnant wage growth and rising household expenses are all contributing to this trend,” Greg McBride, CFA and senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com, said in a statement. “As difficult as it may be to boost savings, having an adequate emergency savings cushion is critical to maintaining financial stability, and Americans need to find ways to sock away more cash for a rainy day."