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God has designed one way of life for His children - the abundant life! Abundance means "more than enough, plenty, or amply supplied." I like to think of it as having more than enough, so you will never have to say no to God again when it comes to funding the end-time harvest.

I want you to learn how to enter in and live in this abundance. However, before that is possible, we need to understand the basics of abundance. There are several elementary principles (or "milk") of God's Word that every believer should clearly understand.

One of them is the proper use and management of credit.

First of all, let me clarify: Banks issue bank cards, not credit cards. Bank cards become credit cards when their users decide not to pay them off each month. Bank cards simply transfer funds electronically from the giver's bank to the receiver's bank.

There is nothing wrong with using your bank card as an electronic check. Just pay off the balance each month. Never use a bank card as a quick loan. If you do, you will soon be paying eighteen to twenty percent interest on the balance.

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" (Luke 14:28). Piling up costly credit card debt leads only to disaster.

The Credit Card Dilemma
Holders of the first credit cards always had to pay off their balance each month. However, credit card companies eventually added the flexibility of a minimum payment. This led to vastly increased credit limits and installment purchasing without proper credit counseling.

As credit limits rose from only a few hundred dollars to several thousand, the ever-growing monthly payment became a way of life. Now, borrowers could buy expensive items on impulse without payment planning.

This new kind of borrowing landed the final blow to the average individual's good budgeting habits. Loan firms began issuing credit cards to people without knowing their financial condition.

Those with fair credit ratings and substantial incomes began finding "pre-approved" cards in the mailbox. Some of these cards came just days before the already over-extended recipient would have to begin missing payments on his other cards.

Now the recipient of these pre-approved cards can borrow against his cash allowance to pay the shortfall of his already overspent paycheck. This unsound spending soon has all credit cards charged to the limit, and bankruptcy becomes the next unavoidable step.

Move Your Debt
Moving your consumer debts to the lowest available interest rate is a simple debt-reduction strategy. You can do this in several ways.

Begin by checking with each lender who has issued you a credit card. Find out which card charges the lowest annual interest. Consider other fees - annual fees, transaction fees, etc. - that the lender charges.

If you still have unused credit available on the card with the lowest interest rate, transfer the debt from your highest-interest-rate credit card to it. Do this with all your cards until you have moved as much credit card debt as you can to the cards with the lowest interest rates.

If you have a very-low-interest-rate card, ask this lender to extend your credit line to let you transfer more, or even all, your other credit card debt to it.

The key to rapid payoff is to keep your monthly payment at least as large as it was before you moved your debt. You will owe less interest and repay the principal faster.

Credit Card Tips
  1. Know how your interest is figured if you plan to ever carry a balance. Interest paid increases purchase cost.
  2. Never pay an annual fee. Plenty of cards have none. If you pay one now, ask your credit card issuer to drop it. This works best if you have made your minimum monthly payments on time.
  3. Reduce your interest rate if it exceeds sixteen percent. Call your issuer today and ask that it be lowered. Most have a customer service 800 number. Due to competition, expect at least a two-percent drop. Plenty of cards carry a rate of fourteen percent or less and your issuer knows it.
  4. According to the Truth In Lending Act, all credit bills must be mailed at least fourteen days in advance of the due date before finance and late charges can be added. Always save the envelope. The postmark will serve as proof if there is a dispute.
God wants his people to enjoy abundant life. However, we come into God's perfect will in our finances only by understanding and applying His Word to them. Let these principles begin to set you free from the bondage of debt. Because once you are free from debt, you are free indeed!

Source: The Basics of Abundance by John Avanzini
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

John Avanzini
Web site: John Avanzini Ministries
John Avanzini was born in Surinam, South America in 1936. He preaches the message of financial prosperity and teaches that God wants believers to be wealthy. He speaks in conferences and seminars worldwide about biblical economics.

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