Listen to the “Motley Fool.”

Listen to the “Motley Fool.” While most of us don’t suffer fools lightly, the Motley Fool is one voice we’d do well to pay heed. Last week I began a two-part mini-series that I’ll conclude today, “The Awkward Ambitions of a Middle Class” (both teachings are at our website: www.pmchurch.tv). Thanks to James D. Scurlock’s new book, Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lenders, you and I have found the courage to take on the shameful secret nobody wants to talk about—personal indebtedness.

In today’s part-two we’re going to tackle a divine prescription for our American consumerism’s discontent. And I’m certain you and I will find the biblical counsel not only pertinent, but practical. But in advance of filling out the study guide for today’s teaching, I’d like to share with you the Motley Fool’s six-point strategy for “eliminating credit card debt.” You may read a more detailed presentation of these six steps at the Motley Fool website: http://www.fool.com/seminars/sp/index.htm?sid=0001&lid=200&pid=0000.

If you’re shackled with credit card debts, prayerfully consider these six recommended steps:

#1—stop using your cards. Take them out of your wallet or purse. Cut them up if necessary. But credit counselors the world over agree. Quit using them. In today’s part-two I’ll share with you Dave Ramsey’s surprising critique of using them even when you’re paying them off every month.)

#2—stop the flood of credit card offers. The Motley Fool notes that you can force credit bureaus to stop selling your name by calling 1-888-OPTOUT to request the forms.

#3—always pay more than the minimum. Minimum payments are not a courtesy of the credit card companies; they’re strategically designed to keep you in debt to them for as long as possible.

#4—plan your attack. In today’s part-two be listening for Dave Ramsey’s prioritization strategy for eliminating your debts.

#5—reduce the interest rate. Credit card companies are willing to reduce their rates to keep you as a customer. Call their toll free number and ask for a rate reduction. Rates from 16% to 20% can be reduced to 11-12%. (But pay off your balances to avoid even those high rates.)

#6—consolidate your debts. Go to the Motley Fool site and read the small print of this step #6 carefully.

While Jesus wasn’t describing credit card debt, his promise can lift the hopes of every indebted home: “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). This morning as we examine the path to freedom from debt, let every heart take hope and courage in the Christ who offers what we seek most. You can live free!

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