Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave,

My husband and I are taking your classes and following your plan. We own a roofing company. We offer six months, same as cash, and we accept credit cards. What are your feelings about our doing this? Does it make us hypocrites?


Dear Monique,

If I accepted credit cards, it would make me an absolutely huge hypocrite, but you don’t do what I do for a living.

If this bothers you, it might be a good time to search your heart and ask yourself if these practices are blessing your customers. If you conclude that they are not, and you decide to discontinue those financing deals, you’d better come up with some other marketing strategies. You will lose clients over such an unusual decision!

Of course you could still offer some of those kinds of deals while actively discouraging their use. You could tell your customers that if you were in their situation, you’d just save up for a few months and pay cash rather than using a credit card or other financing options. That way the decision is theirs. But how will they react to such an uninvited suggestion? The last thing you want to do is encourage more credit, but the next-to-last is to run good business off.

No, I don’t think you’re being hypocritical, Monique. You have some big decisions to make about the quality of your customer service, though. Ten years from now, you want to know you tried your best to do the right thing for them, and you’ll always want to know you’ve done the right thing for your business.


Dear Dave,

I opened by own business about six months ago, and it’s not growing at all. I’m a single mom, we receive no child support and my parents are helping us with all the bills. My biggest concern is the house. I bought it five years ago, and when I opened my business I did it with money from a home equity loan. What can I do?


Dear Gina,

The house is not the problem. You borrowed money to open a business, and that was no-no number one. You also have no savings – which is no-no number two – and now the business isn’t making a profit.

You need to close the shop and go find some work. The money you make at another job will determine whether or not you can stay in your home. If you’ve got a mortgage, home equity loan and business debts hanging over your head, the chances of this are slim. You probably need to consider moving into a small, inexpensive apartment for a while.

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, popular national radio personality and the author of three New York Times bestsellers.
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