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Faith & Finance

Christian talk radio with Rob West

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Broadcast Episode

September 27, 2023

3 Biblical Principles for Debt

On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Sharon Epps to discuss 3 principles for debt and answer financial questions. Money can be a good servant, but debt can have profound and spiritual consequences. Tune in to learn more about how to manage debt and make wise financial decisions.

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About Faith & Finance

How does your faith in Jesus influence your daily financial decisions? As believers, our faith must be the foundation of our financial stewardship, which is why we're excited to announce that the MoneyWise radio show is now Faith & Finance. Join Rob West and special guests as they address today’s financial questions with biblical answers. To be a part of the broadcast, call 1 (800) 525-7000 or you can email your questions to: [email protected]

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Broadcast Episode

Friday, July 12

Don’t Carry Debt Into Retirement

Paying off debt is always a good thing…but paying it off before retirement is one of the best financial moves you’ll ever make. It’s a disturbing trend: more people than ever are retiring with debt. That reduces their lifestyle choices and increases the likelihood they’ll have to return to work at some point. Today, we’ll talk about carrying debt into retirement and how you can avoid it. Preparing for a Debt-Free Retirement: A Practical GuideAccording to the Federal Reserve's 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances, 65% of people aged 65 to 74 are in debt, up from 50% 35 years ago. This rising debt can severely impact your lifestyle in retirement and might even force you to return to work. Proverbs 22: 7 warns, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. ”A recent report by T. Rowe Price revealed that 20% of previously retired individuals are back to work, either full or part-time, and another 7% are actively seeking employment. The primary reason? The need for more income. Inflation has increased costs by about 15% over the past three years, stretching many retirement budgets thin, especially those burdened with debt. Steps to Achieve a Debt-Free RetirementSet a Goal to Eliminate Debt Before Retirement—If you're 5, 10, or 15 years away from retirement, aim to have all your debts paid off by then. Eliminating a mortgage, car payment, or other debts can allow you to live on less and create a critical financial margin in retirement.  Prepare for Economic Downturns—Debt restricts financial flexibility, especially during economic slowdowns and stock market declines. Since the economy moves in cycles, preparing for these downturns is essential. Practical Strategies to Pay Off DebtCut Expenses—Review your budget and eliminate unnecessary expenses. Often, we continue paying for things out of habit. A thorough budget overhaul can free up funds to pay down debt.

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Broadcast Episode

Thursday, July 11

State of the Housing Market

Is it the best of times or the worst of times? Well, it all depends on if you’re trying to buy or sell a house. It really is a matter of perspective. Home values remain sky-high and are likely to continue rising in the foreseeable future. How you view that depends on which side of the transaction you’re on. Navigating the Current Housing Market: Tips for First-Time Home BuyersIt may be the worst of times if you're a first-time home buyer. Home values have never been higher, thanks to the continued high cost of building materials, inflation, and low inventory. Coupled with mortgage rates of around 7%, buying your first home is undeniably an uphill battle. Moving Up in the MarketIf you're moving up—selling a starter home and buying one that fits your current needs—the situation is slightly different. While your dream house is more expensive, so is the house you're selling, which helps offset high home values. However, higher interest rates have many prospective home sellers sitting on the sidelines, waiting for rates to drop. This results in fewer homes on the market, driving up prices even more. Downsizing: A Silver LiningFor those downsizing, it truly is the best of times. You can sell a larger, more expensive home, pay off any existing mortgage, and be mortgage-free in your new, smaller home. This transition can leave you with a sizable nest egg for future needs. Market Trends and PredictionsThe housing market has always been influenced by these factors, but they are currently exaggerated by inflation and rising prices. Recent data shows a 6. 5% increase in home values over the past year. Analysts predict that while home prices will continue to rise, the growth rate will begin to slow. Steps to Take if You’re Buying a HomeCheck Your Credit Reports—First, obtain all three credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax for free at AnnualCreditReport. com. Review them carefully and dispute any errors to boost your credit score, which will help you secure the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage.  Consult a Mortgage Loan Officer—Meet with a mortgage loan officer for guidance on the loan application and approval process. During the first visit, you don’t need to provide your personal financial information, but you should ask about programs for first-time home buyers.  Assess Your Borrowing Capacity—Eventually, you’ll need to share your financial details with a loan officer to determine your debt-to-income ratio and how much you can borrow. Avoid borrowing the maximum amount the lender offers, as this can strain your budget. Aim to keep your mortgage payments within 25% of your take-home pay.  Save for a Down Payment—Assemble the largest down payment you can. Putting down 20% helps you avoid private mortgage insurance, which costs around 1% of the loan amount annually. Reserve a few thousand dollars for unexpected expenses when you move in, avoiding reliance on credit cards.  Get Pre-Approved—Shop around for the best interest rate and mortgage provider. Pre-approval strengthens your position as a buyer and helps streamline the home-buying process. A Mortgage with a PurposeConsider working with Movement Mortgage, a Christian mortgage company founded during the 2008 housing crisis. They offer competitive rates and a chance to contribute to a global movement of change. Movement Mortgage has donated $377 million to community projects and has locations in all 50 states. Learn more at Movement. com/Faith. Finding Your New HomeMake a list of essential features for your new home and connect with a knowledgeable real estate agent. Keep your list of “must-haves” short to stay flexible in this strong seller’s market. If possible, wait until winter to make an offer. Buyer competition typically decreases during colder months, giving you an edge. That's the current state of the housing market and a few tips to help you navigate it. We hope these insights and strategies assist you in your home-buying journey. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions: How do I determine my tithe amount when liquidating a portion of my long-term investment holdings, which include stocks and bonds? Sometimes, the investment shows a slight increase over the principal in a year, but other times, there is a loss. I would like to know how to calculate my tithe since I wouldn't be cashing out the whole investment. Should I move some of my precious metals into my IRA, which I want to diversify into, or should I keep them at home where I can physically possess them? I'm particularly interested in silver since gold is quite expensive. Is making a living off the interest from my IRA investments through a financial advisor considered evil according to passages in the Bible that prohibit putting out money at interest or getting interest from my investments? Would an irrevocable trust be taxable after death, or would it just go back to the will already in place? How do the taxes work with an irrevocable trust if the original owner dies? Resources Mentioned: Movement MortgageAnnualCreditReport. comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App

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Broadcast Episode

Thursday, July 11

State of the Housing Market

Is it the best of times or the worst of times? Well, it all depends on if you’re trying to buy or sell a house. It really is a matter of perspective. Home values remain sky-high and are likely to continue rising in the foreseeable future. How you view that depends on which side of the transaction you’re on. Navigating the Current Housing Market: Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

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Broadcast Episode

Wednesday, July 10

The Economics of Genesis with Jerry Bowyer

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” - Genesis 1:1-2 I’m sure you’re more than familiar with those first lines of the Bible…but are you aware of the economic implications of the creation story? Jerry Bowyer fills us in today. Jerry Bowyer is the President of Bowyer Research and our Resident Economist here at Faith & Finance. He is the author of “The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics.” You can also read his insightful columns for World News Group.

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