Bible Answer

How should Christians deal with mortgages?

How should Christians deal with mortgages? I have a mortgage on my house and happily have control over it (for now). But either way, a Christian is in some sort of bondage if they aquire a loan, right?

A mortgage is a form of personal debt. In the Law, the Lord allowed Israel to incur debts and extend credit to one another so long as they didn’t charge usury interest (e.g., Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:36). But Jews could charge interest on a loan made to a Gentile (see Deut 23:20). Christians are not under the Mosaic Law so these rules do not bind us, but the mere fact that Jews could lend to one another and incur debt under the Law means that debt itself is not sinful.

Likewise, Jesus uses the example of borrowing money as the basis for some of his parables.  

For the Christian, there is no explicit prohibition on insuring debt or extending credit, therefore all matters of debt fall under personal liberty. We have liberty to extend credit to other people and to charge interest, and we also have liberty to incur debt. In fact, Jesus even uses the concept of earning interest on money in one of His parables in Matthew. (Matt 25:27).

However, the Bible cautions God’s people against becoming indebted beyond our ability to repay, since we are expected to honor our promises in keeping with Jesus’ words to let our “yes” be “yes” according to Matthew 5:37. So Christians should borrow money if they feel led by the Lord to assume the debt, and then we should keep our promise to pay back the money.