One in six of the 1,1 million households in The Netherlands has problematic debt! This costs the nation 11 billion euros according to a recent survey by the Netherlands Institute for Budget Information (NIBUD – October 2014).
The costs comprise of not only unpaid invoices, but also for government support and absence from work. It has been shown that people with debt are on average 9 days longer sick off work than other employees! According to researcher Tamara Madern, “People with debt problems are much to consumed in their heads with the stress of financially related problems and have therefore less time to look for work or to invest in their future in other areas. ”
In a 2011 independent report, it was concluded that for every euro spent on coaching people to get out of debt using our Debt Aid Companion programme, that this yielded three euros in ‘social-economic return.’ This was calculated using parameters such as less evictions, energy facility cut-off, less work done by local government etc.
Strengthening household balance sheets is a firm priority for the EU. It should be a priority for us all!
The Bible is very clear that ‘the borrower become slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)
Borrowing is not prohibited by the Biblical wisdom, but the dangers are that we will lose our freedom to choose. The apostle Paul was also very clear when he stated, “everything is lawful, but not all things are helpful. Everything is permissible but I will not allow myself to be enslaved by anything!” (1 Corinthianss 6:12).