The Bank is Not Your Friend

The Bank is Not Your Friend

Up shot photo of a tall multi-story bank building in Toronto
Andrew Gook on Unsplash

Every month, I receive a letter. Every two weeks, I get an E-mail. Every visit, the teller informs me. How could I be so careless to neglect the notice my bank keeps trying to send me? What could possibly be so urgent?

I can increase my credit limit, of course!

There are a lot of little, annoying things in life, and this is one of those things. However, there is a more important kernel of wisdom in all of this: the bank is not your friend.

The bank is a business, and they will do what they can to keep you using their products. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a business wanting to make money. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a bank for savings and transactions. If the value is there, then there is no problem. However, there is a big issue with the way the traditional bank makes dollars come in.

Would you rather make $5 or $20?

If you had $100 and you were presented with the opportunity to make 5% or 20% on that money, which would you pick? The 20% is a no-brainer! Luckily enough, financial institutions charge a ton of interest on credit cards. All they need is people who will borrow from them and not pay off their balances.

This is when the almost predatory practices come in. Through quotas, non-stop marketing, and a positive spin on something inherently awful, our culture has been desensitized to debt. The proof is in the pudding. Why do young people feel grown up when they get a car loan? Why do people feel successful when they are congratulated on a new line of credit?

What you don’t know can hurt you

You never get an E-mail about how to be financially successful. You never receive a letter inviting you to the next financial literacy workshop. By their nature, creditors make more money the longer people are kept in the dark.

It’s surreal. When I walked into my bank and the teller was congratulating me on great news, she wasn’t smiling. I was hoping they were giving me a cruise for my loyalty, but no, it was just a line of credit I could open. The bank isn’t doing me a favor by trying to put me in debt. They are trying to make money. Now the teller was just doing her job; it’s not her fault. She doesn’t make the rules. she just wants to keep a roof over her head.

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7

The point is not that banks are the epitome of evil. that’s silly. They offer a lot of great features, like a savings account and automatic deposits. But there’s a reason why my credit balance stays at $0 at the end of the month. There’s a reason why I treat it as a debit card. There’s a reason why consumer debt isn’t included in God’s plan for you. if you are the borrower, the bank gets richer and you get poorer.

The bank may not be your friend, but wisdom is. If you live and give the way God intended, you never have to worry about the bank. There is no fine print for the life God wants you to lead. There are no hidden fees or marketing ploys. If you want to taste real financial freedom, then it’s time to make new friends.

If you want to know more or have any questions, chat with me here.

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