Debt to start a business is a bad idea

  • Burden of borrowing: debt can overwhelm a start-up business

    Burden of borrowing: debt can overwhelm a start-up business


Dear Dave,

Recently, the garage where I worked for a long time went out of business. I have a lot of my own tools, and I was thinking about taking out a loan of around $20,000 to buy a few extra tools I need to open my own garage. It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own shop, and this seems like the perfect opportunity. What do you think?

— Rick

Dear Rick,

I love it when a person has the talent and drive to open their own business, but right now you’re unemployed and looking at going into debt. That’s a bad idea.

You’ll never hear me recommend going into debt to start a business. Did you know most new businesses fail within the first five years due to debt payments? I literally started my company on a card table in my own living room years ago, so I know for a fact you can launch a business without going into debt.

You said you have your own tools, plus you have lots of experience. My advice is to find a place that needs a good mechanic. Then, use the income from a new job to save up for the additional tools you need, and other start-up costs associated with opening your own shop.

If you play this smart and start slow, you could have a thriving business on your hands in a few years and no debt to eat up the money you make!

— Dave

***

Dear Dave,

I opened a credit card account with a boyfriend several months ago in both of our names. We’re no longer dating, and I was wondering if I can get my name off the account.

— Melody

Dear Melody,

Yes, you can. Call the credit card company right now, and tell them to take your name off the account immediately. Find out if there’s a balance on the card. If there is, and it was charged up while your name was on the account, you’ll still be liable for that amount. They won’t release you from responsibility for those purchases, but you can get off the hook for any future charges.

Then, send them a certified letter — return receipt requested — stating that you are no longer liable for additional charges on the card going forward. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to call them again in a few days to make sure they got the letter, too.

You’re learning a hard lesson here, Melody. You should never open any kind of joint account with someone when you’re not married. And stop using credit cards!

— Dave

Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 15 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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Published Mar 9, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 8, 2019 at 7:53 pm)

Debt to start a business is a bad idea

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