Karma, that unseen force that many of us gleefully claim, “Karma is a …” (fill in the blank). This term is an expression we reserve for when someone we know (and might dislike)  suddenly encounters negative experiences in life. And we call the measurement of this “karmic debt.”

We tend to take satisfaction that this individual is having back luck, or bad karma, due to various negative actions they may have made in the past. However, karma isn’t always that simple.  Karma isn’t just about our current life choices, but also about our past life choices.

Past life choices may be repeating in our present life, waiting for us to figure it out and do it right this time.  We loosely define this as karmic debt.  Here are five signs you have a karmic debt to repay in this lifetime.

What is Karma?

Many of us westerners tend to throw around the word karma reasonably loosely.  Most of us understand that it is related to the idea that good actions create positive consequences, and bad actions create negative results.  We tend to associate it with more of a luck-based concept, fate, or destiny due to our choices towards others.  What is its actual definition?

As defined by Merriam Webster dictionary, karma is:

  • “ the force generated by a person’s actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence.”
  • A second definition and the one more commonly used by Westerners is: ” such a force considered as affecting the events of one’s life.”
  • The third definition is: “ a characteristic emanation, aura or spirit that vitalizes someone or something.” We may refer to it as our “life energy.”

About Karma

Karma is part of the Hindu or Buddhist belief in reincarnation, or that each person’s life is recycled back into the Universe to learn valuable lessons.  There is no guarantee that an individual will return as a human.  They may return as a grasshopper.  The state you come back in is indicative of how many more lessons you need to learn to bring yourself into completion in your spiritual journey.  It is also essential to know that if you are owed karma debt from others, your path will continue until you receive payment. The goal is to reach a karmic value of 0.

It does state that good deeds equate to a positive “credit,” and bad deeds equal a “debt.”  There is a numerical value attributed to it, and your payment may not occur in this life, but rather in the next.  You also may be currently paying a debt from your previous life.

It is essential to understand that your credit or debt isn’t calculated by just your actions, but also by the morals, thoughts, and intentions behind your actions.  For example, donating to a school to manipulate the school system to overlook specific actions by your child will not be seen as a karmic credit, but rather a debt.  On the other hand, making the same donation to a school because you genuinely believe that children should be afforded a science lab for their better learning will equate to karmic credit.

What are the Karmic debt numbers?

The karmic debt numbers consist of two numbers – a single-digit numeral and then the double-digit number that is used to reach that single digit.  For example,

to reach the number 4, you have most likely reduced the double-digit number of 13.  ( 13= 1+3=4). Therefore your karmic debt numbers are usually displayed as 13/4 to denote how 13 is the stronger, negative influence of 4.

The numbers which represent karmic debt are:

  • 4 (13=1+3=4) or 13/4
  • 5 (14=1+4=5) or 14/5
  • 7 (16=1+6=7) or 16/7
  • 1 (19=1+9=1+0=1) 19/1


It is the double-digit number that claims significance in your karma debt.  Each of the numbers denotes a particular character trait that requires correcting to clear your debt.

How do you calculate your karma debt numbers?

Numbers, as they correlate to karma debt, are based on your birthday, your personality number, and your life path number.  All of these use the specific numerals of your birthdate to reach a sum and then correlate it with a pre-set pattern of numbers.

In using your literal birthday, you add up the digits:


  • Born on the 23rd of a month, you add 2+3=5. Five is then equivalent to the number 14. 14 is your debt number.


Calculate your personality number by taking the numerals which make up your birth month and birthday.


  • If you are born on March 22nd, you would add 0+3+2+2=7. Seven corresponds to the karmic debt number of 16.


The final method is your life path number and is one of the core numbers.  Your life path number is determined by using your full birth date and year.  Should you calculate to an 11, 22, 33 in your life path number, it should not be broken down to a single digit, as they are seen as powerful numbers.  This only holds true for your life path number or the other core numbers, which you calculate from your name. And, they are not related to karmic debt.


  • If you were born on August 9th, 1970, you would add 0+8+0+9+1+9+7+0=34=3+4=7. This outcome relates to the karmic debt of 16.

What do the karmic debt numbers mean?

Now that you have calculated your karmic debt numbers, what do they mean? What issues do you need to work on correcting?


  • The number 13 is for laziness. Perhaps in your previous life, you chose an experience which was afforded off the work of others, rather than your own hands.  In this life, you should focus on learning how to work hard, seeing tasks to completion, and staying motivated.  The key is not to overdo it.  Operating in any extremes will not correct your karma.


  • The number 14 denotes a need for control. In your previous life, it was all about controlling others, stripping them of their freedom to exert your will.  Most likely, this is still a struggle for you, and you will need to learn to allow yourself to be vulnerable, express your emotions in a healthy manner and learn to trust those close to you.


  • The number 16 connects to your ego. You may have thought extremely highly of yourself regarding your position in life, your appearance, your abilities, etc.  Learning humility will be a long path for you in this life, and most likely, future lives.


  • The number 19 relates to selfishness. In your previous life, you chose your immediate needs over that of others. This may have shown itself in addictions, lack of sincere relationships, moving up in life from using others to achieve your goals without any consideration or care, etc.

This debt is another difficult one to counter and may take multiple lives.  Choosing to care for others, doing volunteer service for the less fortunate, aiding others to grow and succeed through teaching or mentoring may be a definite necessity in your life now.

The meaning behind 0 as a karmic debt number.

It is possible to have no karmic debt number or a number of 0 in your current life.  What does that mean?

It does not mean you are free and clear.  It means that you are expected to push beyond, to continue to maintain balance while also forging a new path for your life.  Also, know that you can call karmic debt onto your future lives, so being mindful of how you live is wise.

In individuals with 0 as their karmic number, they may find themselves at a loss of what to do with their lives.  Motivation and positive focus may be an issue for you.  Based on your numerology related to your name, you still have karmic lessons to learn.  So focus on these lessons and be mindful of the proper way to live your life. Utilize focus and a loving, positive intent towards yourself, others, and life to help you maintain that karmic number into your next life and continue to elevate your spirit.


5 signs that you owe a karmic debt

Life is all about patterns and numbers.  You can see those patterns and numbers in your life, and they usually point to lessons or obligations.  Knowing this makes it easier to find out if you owe a karmic debt.

  1. The first sign that you owe a karmic debt and the easiest is to calculate using one of the above methods.
  2. Do you find a common theme in your life? Do you continually struggle with addiction, money problems, or relationship issues?  If so, you might owe a debt from your previous experience that you must correct. Thus, life presents you with situations to fix your past choices.
  3. Do you gravitate to certain people that require your care? Karma might need you to pay back a debt of selfishness, humility, or service towards others.
  4. Are you repeating relationships with the same person? Do you find you are continually breaking up and getting back together with the same individual?  Perhaps, you find yourself always needing to care for a particular family member?  Either way, you owe that person a debt or need to learn something from that individual related to why the relationship does not seem to work.
  5. Perhaps you have found yourself in situations which always point back to yourself, your energy, or way of thinking. This could point to the fact that you are currently accumulating debt in this lifetime. Frequently, this stems from your failure to appreciate life, love, and yourself.

This reality may hold especially true if you show you do not have any debt in the numerology.  You are struggling to find motivation, purpose in life, and positivity. Therefore, a multitude of different circumstances crops up to test your growth. The Universe will push you to keep learning the lessons and expand upon them for higher spirituality.

karmic debt

Final Thoughts of Using Your Karmic Debt Number to Guide You

Karma is not set in stone.  It is not fate or destiny.  It is a gauge that informs you of the changes in life you should make. Once you repay the karmic debt, you’re free to live and carry on to your next life until you reach a higher spirituality.  The choices are all yours, as are the consequences.