In Debt To Mom

Teresa thinks the student loan deal her mother is pitching sounds good. Dave thinks otherwise.

QUESTION: Teresa in South Carolina and her husband have $16,000 in debt. Teresa’s mother has offered to pay off their student loans at half of the interest rate they’re paying now. Dave says no way because he doesn’t think they should be in debt to Teresa’s mother.

ANSWER: No, thank you. I would not be in debt to my mother. It’s a very bad plan. Your husband is trying to do this by the numbers, and he’s leaving out the spiritual and relational implications. Proverbs 22:7 says the borrower is slave to the lender. You’re going to change the way Thanksgiving dinner tastes when you eat with your parents because you’ll be eating with your master.

I don’t care how sweet they are, how forgiving they are. I don’t care what the deal is, how functional the family is. It changes how things feel, how they’re treated. All of a sudden, when you buy something, then they raise an eyebrow about whether you should have bought that or not. They now have hooks into your life at a different level and a different way than they did before. You just don’t need to do that—not for half the interest rate or any interest rate. Now, if they want to give you a gift to pay off the student loan and facilitate you hitting the mission field, I’m honored, and I would accept the gift. But I will not tell you to be in debt to your parents.