Avoid Getting Into Debt

I periodically post finance-related verses from the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

As I finished up mid-morning prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours yesterday, I came across scripture that relates directly to personal finance.  From Romans 13:8-10 (or you can visit the Universalis web site for the full mid-morning prayer:  http://www.universalis.com/20120924/terce.htm):

Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.

After spending seven and a half years paying off student loans and finally becoming debt free last year, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.  For the five years I was in college plus the seven and a half years after, I had become accustomed to sending a check to Sallie Mae once a month.  Also, during that time period, on numerous occasions I calculated how many years and months remained until I was payment-free and could cash flow that money elsewhere.  While I incurred the debt in school, I didn’t realize that I was also adding stress to my life.

Needless to say, I agree with Romans 13:8-10 :)  My experience with student loans taught me that debt involves more than making somebody else rich with all your interest payments.  Debt also adds stress to your life and this stress is an intangible aspect of debt that one must account for when making financial decisions.