Credit and Debt Are First Cousins

How many truly understand the interconnected relationship between credit and debt?  A proper understanding and usage of CREDIT can open doors that could lead you down the road of great economic advantage. On the other hand, the manner in which you secure and manage your CREDIT can lead you down a dead-end street full of despair and poverty.  The CREDIT module of this course begins with two introductory lessons: Your Path to Good Credit and The Spirituality of Lending and BorrowingThe DEBT module begins  with Debt Consciousness!

CREDIT module

PRF-CR-101: Your Path to Good Credit
Premise: There are many questions that you can ask yourself to help you become more CONSCIOUS of how credit affects you, your family, church and community. In this foundation lesson, you will learn five key areas of to help you better understand the various relationships that will help you establish, maintain and/or restore your credit.
Spiritual Implication: God desires that we all are keenly aware of those things that affect us spiritually and naturally. Credit is no exception.  

PRF-CR-201: The Spirituality of Lending and Borrowing
Premise: God’s laws and commands regarding debts are not adhered to by society – but then again, why should they be? That which God directs or implies must be embraced first by God’s people. It is not so much about following the law to the letter , but has more to do with following the spirit of the law. In this lesson, you will discover God’s spiritual principles of lending and borrowing as set out in the Bible.
Spiritual Implication: God has a desire for us to enter into situations of credit and debt with as much biblical foundation as possible. This should prevent many of the pitfalls of credit and debt that often extend into other areas of our physical, financial and spiritual lives.
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 (highly suggested)

PRF-CR-301: Understanding the Components of Credit
Premise: Whether you are building or reestablishing credit, your increased knowledge of the components of credit will help you better interact with all aspects of credit.  Credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R. begins with the components in which you’ll interact at all levels of credit transactions.

Spiritual Implication: The principle of stewardship is akin to managing your credit. God desires for us to be good stewards in every area of our lives – credit is no exception; especially within the life of faith communities.
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 suggested | Obtain your credit reports

 

PRF-CR-302: Credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R: Honesty
Premise: Are you able to honestly talk about your credit with your family, spouse, religious leaders or friends? Are you able to be honest with your creditors during tough financial challenges? Can you be honest about the limitations of credit or the lack thereof?  This short lesson will show you how the answers to these questions will help you ensure your name is ALWAYS honored in all your credit relationships.
Spiritual Implication: Allow the Wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes to highlight your credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R. with what’s important to God – your good name.

PRF-CR-303: Appropriate Credit Resources
Premise: Too many people keep getting involved with the wrong resources to deal with their credit … people and organizations.  In this lesson, you’ll learn how to evaluate appropriate and inappropriate resources, such as bankruptcies, credit repair, etc.   

PRF-CR-304: Credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R: Reputation
Premise: How would you define your reputation with your creditors?  How would your creditors describe your reputation?  This short lesson will show you how the answers to these questions will help you ensure your reputation stays in tact throughout your credit relationships OR guide you on how to reframe fractured credit relationships.
Spiritual Implication: God is all about relationships, therefore, your reputation as a lender or borrower is an indication of your relationship with the Creator and your neighbor.

PRF-CR-305: Credit: Accountability over Responsibility?
Premise: As we explore the accountability aspect of credit, you will begin to understand that the complexity of credit first requires being responsible for our actions, i.e., Did I or did I not pay on time? or Did I get in over my head? or Have I failed as a leader to help my people in this area? This sub-lesson delves into the multiple layers of accountability for education and ministering to God’s people about credit within the church and the community it serves.
Spiritual Implication: God will hold someone accountable (maybe pastoral leaders and religious educators) for how credit and debt have spiraled out of control in both church and society.  Credit transactions are relational, so the level of accountability as lenders and borrowers should be as important to us as it is to God.

PRF-CR-306: What Does Credit Cost?
Premise: The starting point of any credit decision requires simple and calculated evaluations of all pros and cons. The three central questions that guide this sub-lesson are: 1) How does one get credit?, 2) What does God say about co-signing?, and 3) How does credit obtained now affect your future … and the impact to future generations?
Spiritual Implication: The manner in which you consider all of the costs associated with your credit decisions is directly connected to your understanding of discipleship – spiritually and practically.

PRF-CR-307: The Timing of Credit
Premise: Now with your credit, you and I may not always know when is the best time to obtain credit, apply for new credit, close certain accounts, stop using your credit for everyday living, etc. We may not understand when it is the right time or when it is not. It may even seem like an impossible task to some because of certain situations where having to obtain credit or use the credit that you have even if the interest rates are unreasonable. In this lesson, you will gain a proper foundation to make sure you lessen the chances of making poor credit decisions.
Spiritual Implication: So what is it that God is saying it’s time for you to do regarding your credit? Is it time to plant some seeds with the creditors you are past due with that as a Believer? Is it time to rebuild you credit by doing 1, 2, 3? Is it time to go ahead and CRY OUT to God like never before about your credit situation? Your responses to these and other questions will position you to make timely credit decisions.

PRF-CR-308: Establishing Credit God’s Way
Premise: God has a way for us to establish credit where it can be a benefit and a blessing versus a burden. The foundational truth to establishing credit begins first with assessing your PRF profile prior to entering into any credit transaction. This lesson will help you consider YOUR credit boundaries and help you secure the proper tools needed to execute the right plan that fits YOUR situation.

Spiritual Implication: Establishing credit no different than any other area of your life. It takes the Word of God, the Wisdom that has been provided through it for you, and knowing that being in the right relationship with the right creditors determines your destiny. God assures us that He is ready to help us in this area if we are willing to seek Him to do it His way.
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 (highly suggested)

PRF-CR-309: Steps to Rebuilding Credit
Premise: The primary focus of this lesson is to help you grow to the place where you want your credit rebuilt versus repaired. The secondary focus it to offer you a unified approached to rebuild your credit alongside of others that desire to do the same. Through the eyes of Nehemiah, you should walk away encouraged to immediately rebuild your credit, as well as how to stand the trials and hiccups that come with the process of [re]building OUR credit.
Spiritual Implication: Rebuilding your credit is just as much spiritual warfare as it is a physical process. The mental tools of endurance, spiritual tool of love and physical tool of faith are essential for completion – use them! 
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 (highly suggested)

DEBT module

PRF-DB-401: Debt Consciousness
Premise: How do you make informed decisions prior to entering into debt? How conscious are you about your debt? In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make an accurate assessment of your current debt situation and understand the importance of creating a plan to manage your debt.
Spiritual Implication: God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He had a plan for you before you were created. Before you create debts you must have a debt repayment plan in place – being debt conscious is understanding the totality of the obligations prior to making the commitment.
Prerequisites: 1. Complete the FMNA for Credit and Debt Are First Cousins. 2. Request copies of your credit reports through the appropriate credit reporting agencies.

PRF-DB-402: Re-Understanding Debt
Premise: Do we have a problem with debt in our churches? Or, is the problem within the people that frequent and serve our churches and communities? Is it the understanding of debt or the lack of knowledge? This lesson offers more than “information,” but the truth behind how we are to responsibly interact with credit and debt. You will learn how following God’s commands are critical to understanding debt. Proverbs 4:7 tells us that Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. This course provides the necessary tools to help you understand your debt.
Spiritual Implication: God will not have us ignorant. If a man or woman lacks wisdom let him ask God who will give it to him generously without finding fault. God wants us to understand the different types of debt and He wants us to make wise decisions prior to becoming indebted.
Prerequisite: PRF-DB-500 (highly suggested)

PRF-DB-403: Good Debt vs. Bad Debt
Premise: All debt is not created equal. The word “debt” is usually associated with a negative connotation. However, this lesson gives you the opportunity to view your debt through another lens. In fact, certain types of debts can be considered as good debt.
Spiritual Implication: Do you see debt as God sees it or do you see it as the financial sector does? Can a changed perspective and Spirit about “good” and “bad” debt transform your present and future financial condition?

PRF-DB-404: Living While You’re In Debt
Premise: Many people who are in debt, specifically those burdened with debt challenges, should be taught how to live WHILE they are in debt; rather than focusing their attention on: 1) when they are going to get out of debt; 2) how they are going to get out of debt; or 3) if they are even going to get out of debt. In this lesson, you’ll discover how to LIVE with your debt (bondage) through the eyes of the prophet Jeremiah.
Spiritual Implication: You can learn to live while in debt according to the Spirit of God’s written Word. The same spiritual applications [practices] you will learn should extend to other areas of your life although: 1) It may be uncomfortable, tough or embarrassing; 2) You may be experiencing feelings of shame or guilt; or 3) Feels like all hope is lost. The Good News is that as you live and walk through it with God and each other, you will be a more equipped disciple – which in turn will make you a more effective Believer (Christian) for the Kingdom.
Prerequisite: PRF-DB-500 (highly suggested)

PRF-DB-405: Does God Want You To Be Debt Free?
Premise: There are many places in society where you can hear about being debt free – mainly in the financial sector and shamefully in the religious-church realm. Since being debt free is a financial sector concept, it is worth exploring if all that you are doing to be debt free is because of God. Is this what God wants for you? If so, shouldn’t you be following God’s direction versus those of the financial sector? In this lesson, you’ll discover how God can free you of debt through the eyes of a credit-distressed mother from the Bible.
Spiritual Implication: Without a biblical foundation for your actions or without an urging of the Holy Spirit, it would be better for one to say that they want to be debt free because of “X” (your reason) and leave it at that. The danger is acting like or having others believe that this is biblical or is what God says or wants, if God didn’t say it.

CREDIT module

PRF-CR-101: Your Path to Good Credit
Premise: There are many questions that you can ask yourself to help you become more CONSCIOUS of how credit affects you, your family, church and community. In this foundation lesson, you will learn five key areas of to help you better understand the various relationships that will help you establish, maintain and/or restore your credit.
Spiritual Implication: God desires that we all are keenly aware of those things that affect us spiritually and naturally. Credit is no exception.

PRF-CR-201: The Spirituality of Lending and Borrowing
Premise: God’s laws and commands regarding debts are not adhered to by society – but then again, why should they be? That which God directs or implies must be embraced first by God’s people. It is not so much about following the law to the letter , but has more to do with following the spirit of the law. In this lesson, you will discover God’s spiritual principles of lending and borrowing as set out in the Bible.
Spiritual Implication: God has a desire for us to enter into situations of credit and debt with as much biblical foundation as possible. This should prevent many of the pitfalls of credit and debt that often extend into other areas of our physical, financial and spiritual lives.
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 (highly suggested)

PRF-CR-301: Understanding the Components of Credit
Premise: Whether you are building or reestablishing credit, your increased knowledge of the components of credit will help you better interact with all aspects of credit. Credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R. begins with the components in which you’ll interact at all levels of credit transactions.

Spiritual Implication: The principle of stewardship is akin to managing your credit. God desires for us to be good stewards in every area of our lives – credit is no exception; especially within the life of faith communities.
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 suggested | Obtain your credit reports

PRF-CR-302: Credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R: Honesty
Premise: Are you able to honestly talk about your credit with your family, spouse, religious leaders or friends? Are you able to be honest with your creditors during tough financial challenges? Can you be honest about the limitations of credit or the lack thereof? This short lesson will show you how the answers to these questions will help you ensure your name is ALWAYS honored in all your credit relationships.
Spiritual Implication: Allow the Wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes to highlight your credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R. with what’s important to God – your good name.

PRF-CR-303: Appropriate Credit Resources
Premise: Too many people keep getting involved with the wrong resources to deal with their credit … people and organizations. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to evaluate appropriate and inappropriate resources, such as bankruptcies, credit repair, etc.

PRF-CR-304: Credit C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R: Reputation
Premise: How would you define your reputation with your creditors? How would your creditors describe your reputation? This short lesson will show you how the answers to these questions will help you ensure your reputation stays in tact throughout your credit relationships OR guide you on how to reframe fractured credit relationships.
Spiritual Implication: God is all about relationships, therefore, your reputation as a lender or borrower is an indication of your relationship with the Creator and your neighbor.

PRF-CR-305: Credit: Accountability over Responsibility?
Premise: As we explore the accountability aspect of credit, you will begin to understand that the complexity of credit first requires being responsible for our actions, i.e., Did I or did I not pay on time? or Did I get in over my head? or Have I failed as a leader to help my people in this area? This sub-lesson delves into the multiple layers of accountability for education and ministering to God’s people about credit within the church and the community it serves.
Spiritual Implication: God will hold someone accountable (maybe pastoral leaders and religious educators) for how credit and debt have spiraled out of control in both church and society. Credit transactions are relational, so the level of accountability as lenders and borrowers should be as important to us as it is to God.

PRF-CR-306: What Does Credit Cost?
Premise: The starting point of any credit decision requires simple and calculated evaluations of all pros and cons. The three central questions that guide this sub-lesson are: 1) How does one get credit?, 2) What does God say about co-signing?, and 3) How does credit obtained now affect your future … and the impact to future generations?
Spiritual Implication: The manner in which you consider all of the costs associated with your credit decisions is directly connected to your understanding of discipleship – spiritually and practically.

PRF-CR-307: The Timing of Credit
Premise: Now with your credit, you and I may not always know when is the best time to obtain credit, apply for new credit, close certain accounts, stop using your credit for everyday living, etc. We may not understand when it is the right time or when it is not. It may even seem like an impossible task to some because of certain situations where having to obtain credit or use the credit that you have even if the interest rates are unreasonable. In this lesson, you will gain a proper foundation to make sure you lessen the chances of making poor credit decisions.
Spiritual Implication: So what is it that God is saying it’s time for you to do regarding your credit? Is it time to plant some seeds with the creditors you are past due with that as a Believer? Is it time to rebuild you credit by doing 1, 2, 3? Is it time to go ahead and CRY OUT to God like never before about your credit situation? Your responses to these and other questions will position you to make timely credit decisions.

PRF-CR-308: Establishing Credit God’s Way
Premise: God has a way for us to establish credit where it can be a benefit and a blessing versus a burden. The foundational truth to establishing credit begins first with assessing your PRF profile prior to entering into any credit transaction. This lesson will help you consider YOUR credit boundaries and help you secure the proper tools needed to execute the right plan that fits YOUR situation.

Spiritual Implication: Establishing credit no different than any other area of your life. It takes the Word of God, the Wisdom that has been provided through it for you, and knowing that being in the right relationship with the right creditors determines your destiny. God assures us that He is ready to help us in this area if we are willing to seek Him to do it His way.
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 (highly suggested)

PRF-CR-309: Steps to Rebuilding Credit
Premise: The primary focus of this lesson is to help you grow to the place where you want your credit rebuilt versus repaired. The secondary focus it to offer you a unified approached to rebuild your credit alongside of others that desire to do the same. Through the eyes of Nehemiah, you should walk away encouraged to immediately rebuild your credit, as well as how to stand the trials and hiccups that come with the process of [re]building OUR credit.
Spiritual Implication: Rebuilding your credit is just as much spiritual warfare as it is a physical process. The mental tools of endurance, spiritual tool of love and physical tool of faith are essential for completion – use them!
Prerequisite: PRF-CR-100 (highly suggested)

DEBT module

PRF-DB-401: Debt Consciousness
Premise: How do you make informed decisions prior to entering into debt? How conscious are you about your debt? In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make an accurate assessment of your current debt situation and understand the importance of creating a plan to manage your debt.
Spiritual Implication: God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He had a plan for you before you were created. Before you create debts you must have a debt repayment plan in place – being debt conscious is understanding the totality of the obligations prior to making the commitment.
Prerequisites: 1. Complete the FMNA for Credit and Debt Are First Cousins. 2. Request copies of your credit reports through the appropriate credit reporting agencies.

PRF-DB-402: Re-Understanding Debt
Premise: Do we have a problem with debt in our churches? Or, is the problem within the people that frequent and serve our churches and communities? Is it the understanding of debt or the lack of knowledge? This lesson offers more than “information,” but the truth behind how we are to responsibly interact with credit and debt. You will learn how following God’s commands are critical to understanding debt. Proverbs 4:7 tells us that Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. This course provides the necessary tools to help you understand your debt.
Spiritual Implication: God will not have us ignorant. If a man or woman lacks wisdom let him ask God who will give it to him generously without finding fault. God wants us to understand the different types of debt and He wants us to make wise decisions prior to becoming indebted.
Prerequisite: PRF-DB-500 (highly suggested)

PRF-DB-403: Good Debt vs. Bad Debt
Premise: All debt is not created equal. The word “debt” is usually associated with a negative connotation. However, this lesson gives you the opportunity to view your debt through another lens. In fact, certain types of debts can be considered as good debt.
Spiritual Implication: Do you see debt as God sees it or do you see it as the financial sector does? Can a changed perspective and Spirit about “good” and “bad” debt transform your present and future financial condition?

PRF-DB-404: Living While You’re In Debt
Premise: Many people who are in debt, specifically those burdened with debt challenges, should be taught how to live WHILE they are in debt; rather than focusing their attention on: 1) when they are going to get out of debt; 2) how they are going to get out of debt; or 3) if they are even going to get out of debt. In this lesson, you’ll discover how to LIVE with your debt (bondage) through the eyes of the prophet Jeremiah.
Spiritual Implication: You can learn to live while in debt according to the Spirit of God’s written Word. The same spiritual applications [practices] you will learn should extend to other areas of your life although: 1) It may be uncomfortable, tough or embarrassing; 2) You may be experiencing feelings of shame or guilt; or 3) Feels like all hope is lost. The Good News is that as you live and walk through it with God and each other, you will be a more equipped disciple – which in turn will make you a more effective Believer (Christian) for the Kingdom.
Prerequisite: PRF-DB-500 (highly suggested)

PRF-DB-405: Does God Want You To Be Debt Free?
Premise: There are many places in society where you can hear about being debt free – mainly in the financial sector and shamefully in the religious-church realm. Since being debt free is a financial sector concept, it is worth exploring if all that you are doing to be debt free is because of God. Is this what God wants for you? If so, shouldn’t you be following God’s direction versus those of the financial sector? In this lesson, you’ll discover how God can free you of debt through the eyes of a credit-distressed mother from the Bible.
Spiritual Implication: Without a biblical foundation for your actions or without an urging of the Holy Spirit, it would be better for one to say that they want to be debt free because of “X” (your reason) and leave it at that. The danger is acting like or having others believe that this is biblical or is what God says or wants, if God didn’t say it.