Dave Says: Bad Advice from a Bad Friend

Reader Question: My husband and I are currently in Baby Step 2, and paying off all our debt except for our home. A friend recently told us to pay off everything except for the credit card debt. She says we can then settle for a far less amount and not have so much money going out the door. This feels a little unethical to me. What are your thoughts?

There’s a good reason this idea feel unethical to you — it is unethical! Would a good friend, a smart friend, encourage you to do something as dishonorable as not pay a bill you’re morally and legally obligated to pay? I don’t think so.

If you’re able to pay your bills, you pay your bills. It’s as simple as that. Now, if you honestly can’t pay the bill, and you have to settle upon a mutually agreed upon amount with the creditor or collector, then it’s okay at that point to try and reach a settlement.

Otherwise, it is a simple question of ethics. Pay the bill.


Dave Ramsey

Dave is the author of The New York Times best-selling book Financial Peace. He is also the host of the nationally syndicated The Dave Ramsey Show, and is a regular guest on television. All of his financial counseling is based on biblical truths. You can hear Dave from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., weekdays, on WLWI 1440 AM or online at www.daveramsey.com. Send your questions to askdave@daveramsey.com. He resides with his wife Sharon and their three children, Denise, Rachel, and Daniel, in Nashville, Tennessee.