Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:26,27
"Do not be among those who give pledges, among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take your bed from under you? "
This word is two Hebrew words taqa which means to strike or clap and kaph which means flat of the hand or palm. The idea to make a deal was to shake hands on it or to strike hands. It was a way of remembering and solemnizing that two people had a deal.
This is the Hebrew word arab which means to take on a pledge, to become surety.
This is the Hebrew word mashaah which means a loan or a debt.
This is the Hebrew word ayin which means nothing.
It is clear from the verses above that the Scriptures are against taking on loans unless there is a certain way to pay for the merchandise.
We are slowly becoming a credit society in which everyone is upside down in what they owe. They owe more than they make or they have purchased more than they can pay for. The Scripture is very clear that this is foolishness -- to want something so badly that you are willing to commit to pay for something that is beyond your ability to pay. You go into a debt in which you do not have a way to pay for it.
Notice that in verse 27 it says why would you go into debt if you had no way to pay for the debt? Unfortunately this is happening all the time. We see a bed we want or a car or a house or boat and the company will loan us the money to have it right away; when even they know that we will not be able to make the payments over the long haul.
I watch people purchase houses they can't pay for, but it is what they want. So two to three years from now they lose the house and their marriage is in trouble if not already destroyed. I watch people refuse to say no to themselves about the lifestyle they live -- cars, boats, furniture, vacations, etc. and the payments get higher and higher until they are buried and the strain on the relationships in their life is huge. All because they did not heed this verse. Do not take on a loan unless you have a certain way to pay. It would be better to just wait until you can save up and pay for the item. If it is too big of an expense so that it needs to be stretched out over time, then make sure that the numbers work over the long haul. Do you have a certain way to pay?
Understand that what credit does is to allow you to increase the level of foolishness in your life to the point where you will be swamped by it. A lack of cash is a way of limiting the impulsiveness and selfishness that you can indulge in. It is a good limit. Credit becomes like a blank check to your desires. Until you have the discipline to save, research, and understand the thing that your desire must have now, you really do not know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing.
Be very, very wary of credit as it is a product that others are selling to you. It is not a tangible product per se, but it is a product. They are selling you money you don't have to purchase something that you don't have the money for. Therefore you must have a certain way to pay back the money you are buying. You must also make sure that what you are needing the money for is really something that is needed and not just a desire.