Review of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

100 Comments

Dave Ramsey claims to teach people how to manage finances, get out of debt, save money, and make good investments. He is the author of a number of books on personal finances and has a syndicated prime-time radio show in which callers describe their financial situations and get free advice. The first website linked above is the home page of what is surely becoming an empire. I’ve tried just one little fiefdom in the Dave Ramsey financial advice empire: Financial Peace University (FPU).

It’s a 13-week course, complete with textbooks, homework, and class sessions. The class meets one night a week for two hours and teaches the basics of money management. FPU’s main claim is regarding the past success of its 300,000+ students:

On average these families have paid off over $5,300 in debt and saved $2,700 during this 91-day program!

I was skeptical. But my money management skills are those of a 12-yr-old (ooh, something shiny! Me buy now!) and I have the debt and saving rate to prove it. In short, I had little to lose. So if I could just meet the advertised averages of savings and debt reduction, that would help a lot. And I just might learn something. So I paid my $90 and enrolled in what is certainly the cheesiest-sounding university I have ever attended. The first class was last night (check back later for pictures of the materials and my first impressions). I’ll keep you posted.

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100 Comments

  1. Is it just as effective to take the on-line course as it is to take a live classroom course? We want to get started right away and there is
    Nothing scheduled in our area.

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  2. TJones,

    Yes. Dave Ramsey’s program is helping me, and has helped others. You can check out some stories on YouTube. These people are not millionaires, but they got out of debt and are learning self-control and financial responsibility.

    I will say, though, it is NOT easy. Interestingly enough, the hardest part is NOT being broke and putting all of your money into the debt you owe (which, let’s face it, if we had done that in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this position).

    The HARDEST part is facing the debt. It’s making the list. It’s coming home from a crappy day, to a house of fussing kids, or a moody spouse, when you’re just way down, and looking at that list on your fridge and thinking, “I’m a total failure.” (Isn’t it interesting that we feel like failures as individuals because we can’t pay our debts, when the United States Government can’t pay its debts?)

    It is not a quick fix. It is not easy. It is not pleasant. But, it does work.

    Reply
  3. Has anyone used the program and has had ANY success? I’m more interested in whether the program works or not. i need real help!

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  4. Here’s a tid-bit from the DICTIONARY:
    hy·poc·ri·sy
    hiˈpäkrisē
    noun
    1.
    the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
    _______________
    Why call him a hypocrite?! So one man falls, gets back up, and LEARNS from his mistakes?! Oh wait, then he SHARES what he learned so that others may not fall the same way he did!
    He is ONE person trying to help MILLIONS of DIFFERENT situations. Nothing is perfect in this world. There is always room for improvement. At the very least, we can try. If it doesn’t work, what harm has come?

    Reply
  5. Tithing was a jewish requirement in the old testament. The new testament does not mention tithing one time. People should give what they want to give. Chruches seem to want to revert back to the legalism of the old testament when it is convinent for them to do so. I personally think you should give to charities and/or churches. If you attend church you should give them something but you are not required to give 10%. Give what your heart tells you to give not what you are told to give by a pastor or Dave Ramsey. I personally think Ramsey’s advice is sound advice but not worth the $100 or the time. I am good with finances so maybe for others this class would be well worth it.

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  6. I think the advise is simple and commonsense as far as I am concerned. I think Ramsey is making a fortune from these classes. I think we all know what we need to do and just because you take his class does not mean you will be debt free. Stop spending money you do not have and pay off your credit cards is basically his advise. I disagree with him that a mortgage on a house you can afford is bad and should be paid off quickly. Mortgages are fixed rates so inflation brings your mortgage payment down yearly. After owning a house for 10 years you mortgage payment will seem like nothing. Money will never be worth more than it is today so use future money to pay for your house. I do not beleive in credit card debt but I use credit cards for 24 months same as cash. He implies everyone who uses same as cash deals default and end up paying all the back interest. I have never done that. I have a 2.9% auto loan and think his advise of paying for cars in cash and drive a $5,000 car is ridiculous unless you are 21 years old. His advise on tithing is also ridiculous since the new testament never mentions tithing. I give to charities, my church,and help out people in need. I do not need to be shamed into giving my chruch 10%.

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  7. The 10% to the church should not be a put off for anyone. I do not attend church. Have in the past. Have no desire to return. Will not fund the oversaturated religion market. BUT….I am discouraged at your lack of ability to see the BIG PICTURE. Despite your personal beliefs, the Bible does offer us an insight into the bigger picture. It’s very simple: Love, give, help, be patient, be compassionate, be kind in word and deed. Can you imagine how the world we live in now would be different if everyone adhered to those ideas? The 10% is a paltry amount of anything. The point isn’t where you give it. The point is to GIVE. And, not just to give, but to give with an open, glad heart. It’s a symbol, this measly 10%. Give 10% of your dollars, 10% of your canned goods, 10% of your time, but get into the SPIRIT OF GIVING. When you do, it changes you from the inside out, and God (or the Universe, or whatever makes you comfortable) responds in kind, and GIVES sevenfold.

    The New Testament of the Bible truly is the BEST guide on how to live your BEST life RIGHT NOW. People like David Ramsey, and Joel Osteen, and countless others, take the lessons of the Bible and break them down for people like you and like me who want the parable spoken in today’s language, and they teach us how to apply these lessons to our lives TODAY. The better you are, the better YOU can make this world. A healthy you equals a healthy world!

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater because you have some issue with the church. Try not to get caught up in the hell and heaven, reward and punishment. Try not to get discouraged at man’s perversion of the Bible. The Bible says “Whatever is good, whatever is right, whatever is honorable, whatever has virtue, whatever is worth of praise, meditate on these things.”

    If you accomplished that one directive from the Bible for ONE hour a day, can you imagine how significantly your life would change?

    I do not know Phil, and have not read his story. But, I can tell you, I would trust a man who has filed bankruptcy and bounced back on top before I would trust a man who has never been in debt to advise me on how to get out of it.

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  8. L Matthews says:

    Dave is not a hypocrite, he tells you in his radio show and books,that he did in fact file bankruptcy, but also went back and paid all his debts after the bankruptcy. The class is for those of us who want control of our money. His math is not bad and his teachings come from experience. Love the class, love the radio show, and love the books. We will be debt free in February. The house will be paid off in 7 years instead of 20. What other program gives you such peace of mind if you just follow the simple steps? Some of you will just have to hate those of us who did it! But those of us who did it really don’t care what you think, as Dave says,if your broke friends aren’t making fun of you, then you are not on track. “Don’t take financial advice from broke people.”

    Reply
  9. The problem with FPU at some churches is that pastors offering the class tend to use the class as a way to beg for church donations. Often only a few churches in an area offer FPU so some FPU leaders want monetary donations and could not care less about you getting out of debt. Big time marketing tool. Greed prevails. Hard sell pitch at The Bridge Church in Berkeley California the pastor Phil Popineau is constantly begging attendees for money. Many attendees are not members of his church so he wants participants to tithe to two churches . Be wary of unscrupulous folks offering FPU for personal gain.

    Reply
  10. Interesting comments from the people who say that this is a Christian based program. That is made clear from the beginning. If you don’t like it don’t sign up. There are always going to be the “haters”. Dave Ramsey is the first person that made sense to me and maybe that is elementary or basic to some but many of us were not taught the basic skills for financial peace and carry it on to our children. I am enjoying the class and learning many skills that I hope to transfer to future generations.

    Reply
  11. Why do people hate on others so much. If Financial Peace works for you then great. I know it worked for me. Dave has spoken on his bad choices and he does not want people to make the same mistakes. If you haven’t been through anything then how can you reach some people who have been through. I truly believe in the program and it works. DAVE KEEP SPREADING THE WORD FOR THOSE WHO WILL LISTEN. Some people have a defeated mentality so nothing will work for them till they choose to look at the resources that are available.

    Reply
  12. Kiwicutiety says:

    I am not a Christian, have read The Total Money Make Over and listened to many of Dave’s radio shows. I think he is brilliant. Well on my way to getting out of debt, probably would never have done it without finding his book. No one thing will ever work for all people, if you don’t like him stop listening.

    Reply
  13. He filed bankruptcy BEFORE he learned the strategies he teaches. That is exactly WHY he doesn’t like credit now.

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  14. Phil, Dave Ramsey in fact did go back and paid back the creditors that were included in his bankruptcy from years past. He has spoken about this in depth before on his radio program and has specifically stated that he considers that to be a personal decision on each persons part if they want to do it or not.

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  15. I think the problem is that if he declared bankruptcy and is now a wealthy then did he go back and pay his creditors, interest et. al? Of course he didn’t. Just a general rule don’t take financial advice from someone who files bankruptcy and don’t trust a skinny chef. Same logic even if the food smells great. He didn’t eat his own cookin!

    The advice is simple…do without when you are mentally able to handle it and throw as much money at your debt as you can, stick a little on the side for emergencies and stop spending. There that about sums it up.

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  16. I thought the whole point of the FPU was to help those who think they need it. If you need to pay to be vested in the process, so be it. Not really worried about Dave, just about using the “System” to make my life easier

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  17. I have been following Dave Ramsey’s plan for about 2 years and I will be 100% debt free in August of 2012. House and everything! The plan works–but only if you are focused and have self-control. I will have paid off a total of $100K in the four years. I talk about my path to debt freedom in my blog.

    Dollars Not Debt

    Reply
  18. Jay Sherman says:

    DAVE IS THE DA BOMB! He helps people, but also runs a business. You do not get angry at the cable guy that fixes your cable box, right? I used his program (got his book free from the library-never paid Dave a dime) and paid off $26,000 in 15 months. It was the best thing I ever did financially. Now I have a robust IRA, ESA accounts for both my kids and a very nice savings account.

    LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE, SO YOU CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!

    Reply
  19. I did this class a few years ago and even though I considered myself financially literate I learned a great deal and reduced my expenses enough to pay for the course in less than a month. In addition, my wife and I can now talk about money (without fighting 99% of the time) and have long range goals.

    Reply
  20. Brian Michaels says:

    I’m convinced that some people try new things strictly so that they can complain about it later, to people they know and dont know.
    It somehow makes them feel better about themselves.
    Dave Ramsey is the real – deal, and he deserves all the success he has earned!
    I love the class I am taking.

    Reply
  21. Sweet.Gril says:

    We need people like Dave to help us kick in to high gear. Some people do need someone outside of the family and friends to let you know you are not the only one and like others you can get out of debt. as for the 10% for church this is what the bible tells us to do. If you don’t believe in this that that’s up to you to do or not do. God gives you all and you only have to give about 10% of that. You will get so much more in return. Just know the church that you give to is doing good things for your community.

    Reply
  22. Dave Ramsey Myths-
    1. For those who like to call Dave a hypocrite, listen to his show to know his story before you use ignorant statements, your wrong and ignorant which means lack of knowledge. You do not know his full story so you can not make ignorant statements because he explains what he did, why he did it, why he does not want you to do it, and what he did to correct what he did. He was young, dumb and in debt and almost lost his marriage!
    His foundation on what not to do- filing bankruptcy- was his learning lesson telling you not to do it, because it is one of the most negative life changing events after death and divorce. He would not be the Dave Ramsey unless he did file bankruptcy to tell you not to do it with first hand experience!

    For those that like to spout facts that Dave abused the system of bankruptcy, and now does not want you to do it…When he started to get on his feet HE PAID BACK EVERY DIME he claimed on bankruptcy, there is no clean slate as some state morally.
    So no he is not a hypocrite, he is telling you from experience you don’t want to do it, and if you did it is your responsibility to still go back and clean up your mess!

    2. Giving 10% to charity or church is part of being a good human being- good things happen to good people. When you donate to charity you get nothing in return especially when you do it without press release unlike politicians!

    3. This is unlike the Government taking 30% out of your check and giving it to people who vote for them, or payback with fundraisers and contracts. This is stealing and immoral and if more liberal people like Joe Biden (gives average $400 per year from $300,000+ income), Al Gore (when records were public $300 per year on $200,000+ income) and others gave money to our own country and to non-voters or where there is no benefit from what they do in return, there would be no hunger or poverty! There was a study that conservatives give around $2200 a year and liberals $600 a year. Don’t steal it, give it!

    Reply
  23. To JL,

    I do not know about ELPs but from what I have read, facilitators are not paid. Exact opposite, it cost more to be a facilitator than take the class. The material for the facilitator cost $299, while the material for those taking the course is $93.

    I would imagine that most churches pick-up the cost for the facilitators material. And, some churches might even pay a person to act as the facilitator. But, I have found no indication that Mr. Ramsey’s organization pays facilitators.

    I share all of this because my pastor and I are considering bringing Finacial Peace University to our church. I agree so strongly with Mr. Ramsey’s baby steps; especially step 7; that I am planning on paying the cost of the facilitator material out of my own pocket.

    For those who are unaware, the last baby step is that there are only three good things to do with money; have fun, invest, and give it away. Mr. Ramsey makes it very clear that all three of these things must happen to truely get financial peace. Now, could you imagine just how much good a church could do if every member of the church was on step 7? How many people we could feed? How many kids we could get clothes for? How many needs we could meet? It is for this reason that I am excited to try and help other members of my church find the peace my wife and I have.

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  24. I’m curious about money, in this instance how much Ramsey is making off of book sales and classes in churches around the country. Locally, the class is
    not free and you need materials to follow the class that also are not free.

    So he’s selling books and classes through churches. Are the “facilitators” at
    these churches paid? Do Dave’s Endorsed Local Providers aka ELPs pay
    for referrals? Any program run in churches should have full disclosure in
    my opinion. Are facilitators using the classes to get leads for their business?

    I agree with a lot of the philosophies, really don’t like how the debt
    snowball is “dumbed down” so you’re not working off the highest rate
    debt first. That’s not the most effective way but he doesn’t believe you
    have the fortitude to stick with it any other way. The overall concept is
    better than running up debt on stuff we don’t need.

    Again, my question is about the money. Are facilitators unpaid volunteers?
    Is Dave profiting from free labor? Does he have a financial relationship
    with his ELPs? In any organization it’s always good to know who’s
    benefiting financially throughout the whole network.

    I don’t begrudge anyone making a living or a profit. When it comes to my
    finances it’s nice to know who may be getting compensated for giving me
    advice at any time.

    It may not be politically correct to question, all I can say is Follow the
    Money and the truth will be known. In the meantime, do what you can
    to get out of debt.

    Reply
  25. Wow, things are getting quite heated in here, so I’d like to segway off of Jerry’s last comment on getting back to reviewing the course.

    My question to anyone that has taken the FPU courses at the church and/or online:

    My husband and I just finished reading The Total Money Makeover and have started our new marriage off with setting a budget and are on Baby Step 2 (Debt Snowballing). Although we are a couple of steps away from Steps 3 and 4, we would like to learn more about good investments with detail. We know that he highly recommends Mutual Funds, but I’ll be honest when I say that doesn’t mean much to me, except that it apparently has an average 12% growth rate when vested for a long time.

    Does the class help teach in detail what the different types of investments look like and how to decipher through all the technical aspects of investing? As the bookkeeper of our family, it makes me very nervous about how to invest our money and I want to make sure we do it wisely.

    Reply
  26. “I have not said anything against any religion, god, his advice or anything else than I feel his policy is exclusionary and unchristian.”

    Ok, great. We’ve established that you have NOTHING bad to say about Dave Ramsey’s advice, which is what this post was about. Chalk another one up for Dave!

    As for his policy being “exclusionary and unchristian”, are you serious? How many times do we have to go over it? Let’s say a Muslim ran a financial advice business and allowed people to become financial advisors themselves and use his name in their business. Let’s say he said he was putting Islamic financial principles to use and would only allow Muslims to be certified by him as a financial advisor and use his name. I don’t have a problem with that at all. Would you? If so, why? Dave Ramsey is a Christian and he’ll give advice to anyone, but those who want to take on the Dave Ramsey name as a financial advisor, he wants those people to share the same value system as he does. Again, why is this such a hard concept for you to grasp?

    If Dave Ramsey was as greedy as you have tried to make him out to be, wouldn’t he allow just anyone to become one of his financial advisors? He could probably make a lot more money that way. Maybe, just maybe, he is trying to God’s will and uphold a high standard. To suggest that he is being “unchristian” is absurd.

    “And of course I charge, just as he does and volunteer just as he does. I didn’t say we needed to be poorer , nor am I anti-christian. You just rail on about comments that I didn’t make.”

    I’ll let others review your previous comments to decide if I was addressing comments that you made, or if I just made them up out of thin air.

    “You simply can’t distinguish between free speech and your own I’m better than you because I a christian and believe in god attitude. If you were a so-called christian you wouldn’t say the things you have in the manner you have, and as a result proved me right. I’ll pray for you.”

    LOL. Believe me, friend, I’m all about “free spech” and freedom in general, like allowing Dave Ramsey the freedom to run his business as he sees fit. Did I ever say you don’t have the right or shouldn’t have the freedom to express your opinion? And you accuse me of making up comments? Good grief. You certainly have the right to express your opinion, but when you express your opinion be prepared for others to express theirs, even if that means disagreeing with yours.

    Nowhere did I say I was “better than you”, so please put the “victim” card back in your pocket. You’ll have to try playing that somewhere else. I DID point out your anti-Christian bias which is plain for everyone to see.

    I just love it when someone verbally attacks Christians and when a Christian stands up for Christianity, the attacker then plays possum and complains about the other person not being a “so-called Christian”.

    So, let’s sum up what we’ve learned from you:

    It’s ok to license anyone off the street as a financial advisor and not ask them to uphold any kind of standards, but it’s NOT ok for a Christian to license other Christians financial advisors, because asking them to uphold and live by Christian standards is “exclusionary”.

    It’s ok to exercise freedom of speech to bash Christians, but Christians should not exercise their freedom of speech or freedom of assembly.

    Got it.

    Now then, back on topic, this post was started by someone taking Dave’s FPU class. Remember? Reading the updates reveals a person who started out skeptical about FPU, but ended up saying it was worth it and that they would certainly do it again.

    Reply
  27. david lloyd says:

    To Jerry
    You so NAILED the issues re: M’s remarks!
    Thank you for taking the time to respond with that level of thoroughness.

    Reply
  28. I have to agree with Jerry. Just because a Christian stands strong in his beliefs and challenges anti-Christian rants only proves he loves God enough to take a stand. Our culture has become so politically correct we’ve actually gone backwards. Based on a recent study, Christianity is on the decline, and people have the audacity to wonder why we’re in such bad shape. The further we get from living as the bible teaches us to do, the worse our society will become.

    Reply
  29. I just wanted to say that I love this site

    Reply
  30. You are the one that is ranting. I have not said anything against any religion, god, his advice or anything else than I feel his policy is exclusionary and unchristian. And of course I charge, just as he does and volunteer just as he does. I didn’t say we needed to be poorer , nor am I anti-christian. You just rail on about comments that I didn’t make. You simply can’t distinguish between free speech and your own I’m better than you because I a christian and believe in god attitude. If you were a so-called christian you wouldn’t say the things you have in the manner you have, and as a result proved me right. I’ll pray for you.

    Reply
  31. To M:

    I understand DR charges for some of his products and services. I also understand he offers 4 FREE hours a day to a national media audience, along with whatever FREE info is on his website.

    If you don’t think his paid materials are worth what he’s asking or not worth anything, I have a simple solution for you. DON’T BUY THEM.

    I still don’t understand what your problem is (other than Dave being a Christian). Evidently, you think that he shouldn’t charge for anything. You say you give free advice, yet I’m assuming you DO charge for something, don’t you? So what’s the difference between you and Dave? Unless you provide ALL of your services for FREE, you are quite hypocritical to criticize someone else who doesn’t work for free. Just how DO you make a living?

    And how is Dave Ramsey different than Suzi Orman that you recommended. She sells her products and services on her website. Isn’t she wealthy???? Oooooh, that makes her eeeeevil! Why aren’t you ripping her for not giving away everything she has??? OH, wait, now I remember…it’s because she doesn’t claim to be a Christian.

    Jesus was a Jew and not a Christian and would not have been accepted??? HUH? I would say that you lost all credibilty with such an obviously hysterical statement, but you lost all credibility with your last post in which you compared Dave to BTK.

    Jesus FOUNDED Christianity. A Christian is simply someone who believes that Christ was who He claimed to be (Son of God), repents of their sinful ways, and follows Him. Saying Jesus was not a Christian makes about as much sense as saying that God doesn’t believe in His own existence.

    Your rant about America is typical liberal guilt garbage. Yes, we consume a lot. We also produce a lot. We also give more than that back in public and private funds, help, aid, etc. Without us, the rest of the world would be an absolute bombed-out pile of garbage. Life on this planet would probably would have already ceased to exist. If you feel so guilty about living here, perhaps you should sell everything you own and move to the the Congo. Just do your best to avoid all of those EVIL Christian missionairies helping and ministering to the poor.

    We are “rich”, I won’t deny that; however, if you think making us poorer will somehow make others richer, you don’t have the slightest idea of how money and econimics work. Please tell us all that you were joking when you claimed to be a CPA.

    And what does this have to do with Dave Ramsey? As a Christian, Dave is a proponent of giving 10% of your earnings to churches (a lot of which goes to helping the hungry, homeless, addicted, etc., both here and abroad) and helping those less fortunate.

    You hate Christians and don’t believe there’s a God. WE GET IT. Fortunately, we still (at least for the moment) live in a free country where you and Dave Ramsey are free to believe what you want.

    If Dave only wants Christians to use his name as a “Dave Ramsey Financial Counselor”, so be it! It’s his gig! And, yes, someone like Haggert or someone else could probably lie and get in. It’s possible. Evidently, your reasoning seems to be if you can’t filter out every possible “bad apple”, you shouldn’t try to filter out anyone. Absolutely ridiculous!

    Your anti-Christian material is very, very weak.

    This post is about Dave Ramsey and his financial advice. Evidently, you don’t have anything negative to say about his actual ADVICE, because you are working so hard to turn the discussion into an anti-Chritian rant.

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  32. To Jerry: What you didn’t understand in my wording, which is just a mistake in your perception, is that when you take his FPU you have to buy his books. If you look at the employment opportunities on his website it is primarily for SALES PERSONS. You have to pay to go to his live lectures. His whole website is set up to sell you something. You don’t have to be a christian to know the difference between good and evil. They stated you had to have letters of recommendation to be accepted into the course. My comment is that I feel they probably would have accepted letters of rec. from Ted Haggert three years ago, and wouldn’t have known the better and calling yourself a christian does not make you a christian. I would be very happy to give free advice to anyone who asks. I would not exclude anyone who needs or asks for my help, and I volunteer in a guardianship program to help keep the elderly from getting ripped off. Jesus was a Jew and not a christian, and as a result he would not have been accepted. Jesus’s message was do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We live in the top 3% of the world’s population and consume 25% of the world’s resources. Don’t we have enough, we need to let the rest of the world move up the latter of needs before we americans do any more whining like you. Our standard of living is a sin against the rest of the world. It’s no wonder they hate us. Do you really think they is a god up there giving one human being misery and another human being a miracle. You shouldn’t need a “carrot” of some supposed heaven for you to decide how you are going to treat other people.

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  33. Perhaps I shouldn’t but I always giggle when people like Monib, M and Adam try to discredit Dave and churches. Somewhere down the line a person in a church did a bad thing and all of a sudden all churches are scams and since Dave’s advice is Biblically driven, well his advice must be a scam, too. I guess they no longer buy groceries any more because I read once that a grocery store clerk raped and murdered an innocent girl. They no longer buy cars because a car dealer went nuts and shot one of his employees. They no longer attend school because one of the teachers was convicted of statutory rape. They no longer stop when a police officer is behind them with the blue light and sirens roaring because a cop maliciously beat an innocent man. C’mon…of course they do.

    So why on earth would you throw away God’s love because someone in a church did a bad thing? Let God deal with that person and please understand He loves you and misses you dearly. I believe the main difference between Christians and non-Christians is the nons would actually have to believe in something smarter than them. They would need to have faith in something they can’t feel with their hands. You see, Christians are strong and confident enough to say…I believe.

    Please don’t throw away God’s love. He loves you SO much. And as for Dave, he’s the only multi-millionaire I know that’s willing to practically give his advice away. There are more references in the Bible about money than any other topic. That’s because God knows the destruction money, or the lack thereof, can have in our lives. Why do you think our forefathers put “In God We Trust” on our money? We need to trust in God…not the money.

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  34. “I have watched the Dave Ramsey show for some time, but no longer. I am surprised that so many people will pay someone else to tell them what they already know.”

    Hmm. Last I checked I didn’t have to pay Dave to listen to his radio show or pay him to watch his TV show.

    Comparing Dave to Haggert or BTK is beyond absurd. Whatever shred of credibilty you might have had was just blown into outer space. Get a grip.

    “I am a CPA and would be happy to give someone free financial counseling if I can keep that person from sending Dave Ramsey any more money.”

    Hmm. Interesting. Do you give “free financial counseling” to everyone? No? Just the people that might send money to Dave Ramsey? Wait, that would make you EXCLUSIONARY and HYPOCRITICAL; the very things you are whining about.

    Go listen to Suzi Orman? Is she giving her books, kits, and programs away for free? She’s not? Oh, dear. More hyprocicy from you.

    Fact is, they BOTH provide good, sound financial information, and a lot of it for FREE. You don’t have to pay the 4K to get his advice, only if you want to be a financial counselor. Everyone needs financial advice and that is available for free or next to nothing. Very few people want to be a financial counselor.

    If you can find a better deal to become a financial counselor, then by all means do it!

    You’ve just got a problem because Dave Ramsey is a Christian and wants people who USE HIS GOOD NAME to be a Christian as well. Good for him! It’s his business and it’s his name, so if someone is a “certified Dave Ramsey financial counselor”, you know what they have declared to be their values.

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  35. I have watched the Dave Ramsey show for some time, but no longer. I am surprised that so many people will pay someone else to tell them what they already know. But the problem I have with his “empire” is that he most assuredly does not mind taking money from anyone who will pay him for his products, but he will not certify anyone as a Certified Counselor unless they are an “EVANGELICAL OR CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN”. But you can still take his $4,000 course. To me this is the epitome of religious hypocrisy. What about Ted Haggert in Colo. Springs, the gay meth abusing former head of the evangelical church, the predator Catholic priests and the BTK killer church deacon boy scout leader. Dave should become a “real” Christian and not the exclusionary salesman that he appears to be and his products should be cheaper. In Catholicism, the priests are asked to take a vow of poverty, but not this guy. I am a CPA and would be happy to give someone free financial counseling if I can keep that person from sending Dave Ramsey any more money. If you were either gay, non-religious, non-discriminatory or even just not an evangelical or catholic christian I don’t know why you would want to support his business. Go listen to Suzi Orman instead.

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  36. I’m not sure what “Mike’s” problem is. He says bankruptcy USED to be very easy and advantageous but it’s not anymore. Then he says Dave went the bankruptcy route many years ago (obviously when it was easy and advantageous to do so) but now doesn’t advise people to go that route if they can avoid it. Gee, “Mike”, do you think it might be because it’s usually NOT the best route to go nowdays? The only question that matters is this – IS DAVE GIVING GOOD FINANCIAL ADVICE? Period. End of discussion.

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  37. Steve Greenwell says:

    I have not attended FPU yet. However, I am doing many of the things that D. Ramsey has been teaching. What he teaches is his only in the sense that he has repented of doing otherwise and returned to the wisdom that’s been around for ages, available to “whosover will….” His advocacy of paying the smallest debt first is not just good psychology; it’s also better for cash flow. As for tithing, benevolent giving, whaddever you wanna call it: it works. I don’t know why, but I have always done better on 90% as Jesus’ steward– even during my other financial follies– than on 100% as the “owner”.

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  38. Just wanted to leave one comment to Mike who claims he get’s the disconnect with Dave and bankruptcy.

    I listen to his show on my morning and evening commutes everyday (downloaded the shows to my ipod) and there have been situations where Dave does say that Bankruptcy might be an option, but he always advises doing whatever possible.

    I know it seems messed up that Dave filed Bankruptcy before and then teaches this beans and rice and work 3 jobs to people, but he does it because he went through a lot of emotional and stressful episodes while going through his bankruptcy and he feels anything else is worth going through that. Also, this was over 20 years ago when Dave wasn’t nearly as wise and he was making bad decisions in real estate.

    His experience, brilliance with numbers and the heart of a teacher is what makes him a really great guy and I look up to him in what he does.

    I will leave with this… I don’t always agree with Dave’s political views :-)

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  39. I am not a financial professional. But the most admired and sought after one in the area I live personally refered me to this FPU “church fundraising scam” as it turns out the scamming church actually tried to rip us off by chipping in a large amount to divide up among those enrolled to pay the cost down and then had the nerve to divide up the remaineder of the cost so we could pay it weekly as we went…SHESH, those damn churches. I should stick “financial professionals” who talk w/ people about money out of the sheer kindness of their heart!

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  40. I am a financial professsional and volunteer doing taxes for people at VITA sites. I recently did a woman’s taxes. She was having her home foreclosed on, but had reliably given 20% of her gross income to her church.
    I’m passionate about financial literacy and encourage people to spend wisely, but don’t do it via some church fundraising scam!

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  41. That’s agRee 100%…sorry.

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  42. Well said Pete. I agee 100%.

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  43. My wife and I took the class last summer, and this winter we helped lead a FPU class.

    The class is invaluable in my opinion for a couple reasons:

    1. Information in the videos/reading: The information included in the class may be common sense to a lot of people, but unless you actually hear it and have to think about it, it may never occur to you. For example the lessons on insurance and investing were very good about the basics, and help you to think about topics that many people avoid.

    2. Group setting: Meeting in the groups helps to keep you accountable, and to help modify your behavior. Like Dave says getting out of debt is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior modification. Meeting in the class really helps to change habits – especially since you’re doing it over 13 weeks – that’s quite a long time.

    As far as the class being $100, Dave actually talks about the fact that people who get the class for free, or don’t have to pay for it, often don’t get as much out of the class. If you’re not invested in it, then you don’t feel as much need to attend class, or to make the most of it. Plus over 13 weeks, that’s like 8 dollars per class, that’s a bargain, especially with everything you get in the packet. plus, you can take the class as many times as you want!

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  44. Go to a local library and check out “The Total Money Makeover”. That will give you the step by step plan. FPU is wonderful, but you don’t have to do FPU to understand and work the program.

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  45. My wife and I are looking into starting this, but we live in a small town and I am on call 24 hours a day most of the time. I cannot leave town when I am on call.

    I was looking into the home kit, but I am not sure of everything we need to get started.

    Also, I would like to teach my kids, that way they dont start adulthood like I did….Broke!

    If someone could tell me what I need to buy to start, it would be appreciated

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  46. You basically view the videos online.

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  47. I don’t know of anyone who’s gone through the online class. Sorry.

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  48. has anyone done it online? how does that work?

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