Financial savvy is hardly the first thing that most of us think about when we think of the Amish. Known for their rejection of technology and their simple, down-to-earth lifestyle, many may find it hard to believe that their philosophy on making and handling money could make them experts on something as complex as getting a mortgage.
On the contrary, their practical approach to managing finances has resulted in financial success for a number of Amish – and even Amish millionaires are not unheard of. It only stands to reason that if Amish businesses don’t fail, they probably don’t have problems obtaining and paying off mortgages, either.
Following are ten reasons that the Amish get it right when they do turn to mortgages to finance their homes.
- Debt Is a Tool, Not a Crutch – According to Get Rich Slowly, there are some Amish who do use credit cards as a convenience to pay for the things that they need, and not as a means to purchase things they couldn’t otherwise afford. Having a credit history can help them when they apply for a mortgage. The right mortgage lender will offer loans to accommodate the needs of a variety of clients.
- Debt Is a Motivator to Succeed – Even the hardworking Amish may need a little extra incentive to get out of bed in the morning. When they know they must work to make money and pay the installments on their mortgage, it gives them the incentive to work harder.
- To Buy the Family Farm(s) – Farming is a popular type of business for the Amish, and often one that parents pass on to their children. With an average of six children per family, according to Exploring Amish Country, it is easy to see why the majority of each generation will have to determine how to purchase the farm and land to carry on the tradition.
- They Approach Spending Money According to the Long–Term – The Amish don’t believe in spending money on items that are unnecessary or which aren’t valuable. A mortgage is a long-term loan, and it has the lowest interest rates of any type of loan you can get. What’s more, the purchase of a home is an investment that will last forever and be valuable to the next generations.
- They Have the Savings Needed to Make a Significant Down Payment – Unlike the average American who only manages to sock away 6% of their overall income, it isn’t unusual for the Amish to save more than three times that much. When they go to a mortgage company to take out a mortgage for their new home and/or farm, they have enough to make a significant down payment that will make their payments more manageable.
- They Are Credit-Worthy – Generally speaking, the Amish don’t like to be in debt, and they are willing to work hard to make their payments. They are more likely to take on an extra part-time job to make ends meet than turn to other methods of credit to compensate for the amount of income going toward their payments. Rarely will an Amish person fail to pay back a debt.
- No Worries over Job Loss – Nothing is more devastating than making a large purchase and then losing your job. Thanks to the skills of the Amish to perform a wide range of trades, they never have to worry about getting a pink slip in their mailbox. They are very resourceful, and their crafts are in high demand.
- The Amish Have Fewer Financial Obligations for Necessities – Hand-me-downs are common among the Amish, with many new purchases coming from thrift stores or bought at garage sales. Clothing items that can no longer be worn are recycled into something else, such as quilts or rugs. They have less money going out for items that we buy on a regular basis, making their loan payments less of a burden.
- They Don’t Spend Money on Fast Food and Dining Out – Nasdaq explains that Americans spent more than $52.5 billion at bars and restaurants from 2015 to 2016. Not only do the Amish usually eat home-prepared meals, but they are largely made from organically grown foods they have grown themselves.
- They Don’t Turn to the Government – Many Amish live on an income that is below poverty guidelines, but they are not likely to turn to government programs for assistance. As a result, they have an exemption from paying into Social Security. Combined with the frugality that they use in every area of life, they end up with a bigger net income than most of us who make twice as much.
Granted, most of us don’t live the frugal lifestyle of the Amish, but we can do more to improve our finances that will make us better candidates when we decide to apply for a mortgage. To get your free quote, call A and N Mortgage today!