Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Impossibility of it All.

I'm going to complain a bit. And why shouldn't I? Not everything is prefect. There are many issues and challenges in the frum world, BH, we all have our stories. I want to focus on credit card debt. I believe this issue one many of us struggle with, rely upon and many times feel like we are being buried under it.
A young man and woman get married, at times with not much idea how to make a living and find themselves with a bit of wedding money and a few months to figure out a parnasa. Many times the lady will conceive a baby BH and take herself out of the workforce. Now the young man has a few years to figure out her how in the world he's going to cover not only food, rent and clothing which is no small feat in one of most expensive cities in the world to live in which is Crown Heights, BH, but also to start covering the never ending and always growing tuition. There have been plenty of articles about tuition lately so no reason to keep beating a dead horse and speak it again at this point.
There quickly comes a point when there is simply not enough cash to cover everything. Again, we are working with a single family income, usually not too much higher education and plenty of children, may they multiply further. How do you cover the deficit? Very easily, cover it with credit card debt. And why wouldn't you? Low interest rates, points to fly for free, it sounds like a great deal. It is in fact a great deal if you have the flow of money coming in every month to cover the balances. But in our case the couple took out debt to cover monthly expenses that they don't have any other way to cover otherwise. Fast forward a few years and the debt has climbed to ten, twenty or thirty grand. The monthly interest and minimum payments are a between $200 to $600 dollars and it has become impossible to keep up with maintaining the credit card debt. So the way to get out of it at this point I’ll leave for the comment section to discuss but there is no easy way out as far as I know of.
In my humble opinion I think that Jewish Schools should not accept credit cards as payment for tuition. If someone doesn’t have cash to pay for schooling that means there is not enough money to cover rent and food expenses at home and have to supplement tuition with credit card debt. Schooling is important but so is eating and having a home. This is a recipe for disaster.
There is much to say about all this but I would like to ask G-d Almighty, for who impossible doesn’t exist to bless the Jewish people with plenty of money to cover all the expenses and then some, as well as health and children. We should all see Moshiach come and take us out of golus this Elul so we can spend Rosh Hashana with Moshiach in Jerusalem.

Josh Greenstein
(Not the author’s real name)