Financial Musketeers

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. )

Growing Dominion, Part 141

“Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee” (Prov. 22:26-27).

It is commonly assumed that the book of Proverbs outlaws the practice of co-signing for a note absolutely, and this passage is why. But verse 27 appears to be indicating that you ought not to be signing away (in principle) what you cannot afford to lose. The situation appears to one in which some young bucks, let us call them musketeers, say, “all for one, and one for all!” And all of them get taken to the cleaners. But suppose a different situation—retired parents who co-sign a note so that their kids can buy a house. What they are signing for is something they are willing to give. Is that prohibited here? Given the context, I don’t think so.

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