Are Loans Wrong?

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Judy Moseman addresses the issue of borrowing money for college.

The pastor at my church says Scripture teaches that we shouldn't go into debt. He says we are to "owe no one anything except to love one another." I believe that God is calling me to a Christian college, but there's no way my family will be able to pay the Expected Family Contribution figure I saw on my Student Aid Report. Is it really wrong to take out loans for college?

Many Christian financial advisors make exceptions to the "no-borrowing" principle when it comes to getting a loan to buy a home or start a business. If we think of your education in business terms, there is a significant return on the investment you would make by taking out loans for college. Let me explain.

There is a widening gap between the earnings of a high school graduate compared to those of a college graduate. According to the Census Bureau, a college graduate earns about $18,000 more than a high school graduate each year. The projected average lifetime earnings of a family headed by a college graduate are more than $1,000,000 higher than those of a family headed by a high school graduate. The higher level of earning from a college education and the higher level of learning in the context of a Christian college can both contribute significantly to your work in God's kingdom over your lifetime.

It's always wise to listen to your pastor and to make careful decisions about borrowing money. But the exceptions described above may be helpful to you as you make decisions about college loans. As part of your thinking process, ask a financial aid officer about what would be a reasonable amount of money to borrow and what payment plan would best work for you. I hope you'll be able to resolve this issue in your own heart and mind. I also hope you'll find a way to attend a Christian college—especially if you believe God is calling you there.

Written by Judy Moseman

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