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Is Debt a Moral Issue?

Is Debt a Moral issue? I wrote this a while ago, but, morality and debt might actually be closer related than you think. I am not talking about a prayer for debt free life.

Is debt a moral issue?

Let’s go over a few points here:

  • I am not saying anyone who is in debt is of questionable morality. That would include me, or imply a “sinful living” of some kind.
  • Remember Greed is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Is gaining wealth and reducing debt immoral? If you want to think of the converse of this question, which would be, “Is Debt Reduction immoral, as it is a type of Greed”.
  • Let’s stick with Morality as your “code of conduct” for those who question or say there is no God.

If the way you live is what is getting you into debt, then yes, Debt is a Moral issue. Your lack of control of your spending is a Moral issue for you and you need to change that pattern in your life (I won’t use the trite term Lifestyle Change for this).

If you don’t view your debt as being a problem, yet it is affecting how you live then most definitely debt is a Moral Issue, and it must be dealt with in that way, as well.

In some ways debt build up can be a sign of Greed. If you don’t worry about whether you can pay for something, you simply want it, that is a moral issue. If you are building up debt to better yourself (i.e. education) then that is not a moral issue, but if you must buy a new car every year, simply to keep up appearances, that is a moral issue.

Is there a prayer for debt free life ?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Not a bible thumper and had to go look it up, but Dave Ramsey is always quoting “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
    comes from Proverbs 22:7. So is this talking about the morality of lending money or the borrowing? Pretty sure my great grand-parents had no debts, my grand-parents MIGHT have had a mortgage, my parents were the first generation to have a credit card,(which they paid off monthly), I had a mortgage, line of credit, and a few credit cards, and my nephew, (I have no kids), well, he has the mortgage and credit cards. Where will it go from here? A cashless society? Well, criminals will go to bitcoin and such if there is no cash…

  2. Paying off debt is definitely not a sign of greed. It is merely the fulfillment of a contract. When you take on debt, you contract with the lender to pay back the money according to the terms of said contract.

    Debt becomes immoral when we fail to honour the terms of the contract by failing to pay the money back in a timely manner – or worse, counting on taxpayers to pay it off for us.

    Knowingly taking on more debt than you can ever hope to repay is definitely immoral. I’ll leave it to others to decide what that might mean about the U.S., U.K., or other nations that are way over their heads in debt – at least partly because they rescued businesses that failed to meet their own obligations.

    1. Borrowing money knowing you can or will not ever pay off a debt is a Sin in my book (I think in God’s too, but don’t quote me).

      Living within your means is the way to keep your Karma/Christian Ethics/Islamic Pillars (I think being out of debt is in the Koran (sp?), but I am willing to hear counterarguments) in the correct balance.

  3. Good question, but morality is so vague that it would be hard for me to nail it down with respect to debt. I really don’t think the pursuit of wealth is immoral, unless someone does immoral things to attain it, such as harming people.

    Is debt immoral? I would only think so if one didn’t intend to pay it back. Why would it be immoral for a broke person who makes a good living to buy a huge boat? It might be inadvisable, stupid even, but as long as he can meet the covenants of the debt contract, I wouldn’t say it’s immoral.

  4. Paying off debt is not greed in any way shape or form. Greed is the desire for excess. Paying off debt is the desire for freedom.

    Investing for the sole purpose of buying a fancy car so you can show all your friends is greed. Investing for the sole purpose of providing you a comfortable life and time with your family is not.

    “excessive or rapacious desire, esp. for wealth or possessions.”

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