TAKING out a loan to buy a house is a rite of passage for many low-and middle-income households. Mortgage bonds form part of what many of us accept, more or less grudgingly, as a lifelong relationship with a financial institution.In SA, real wages (the value of wage income relative to the cost of living) have remained stagnant for most poor and middle-income households in the past 20 years. The share of national income received by labour has shrunk, while the share due to capital investments, made by companies and very rich individuals, has increased.As a result, credit is financing an ever larger proportion of ordinary household expenditure.The choices open to those who need to borrow to live are narrow indeed. With housing, they are limited to SA’s four big retail banks and SA Homeloans....AND, once you choose your bank, you’re generally stuck with it, as transferring your debt to another bank on the same or easier credit terms is next to impossible.The Socio-Economic Rights Insti...

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