As banks tighten their lending criteria‚ more homeowners are choosing to consolidate debts into their home loans — but that could spell trouble down the road for South Africans who are not careful about their personal finances. The costly credit environment is resulting in people taking further advances on their home loans in order to pay off other debt‚ resulting in smaller monthly costs‚ but a total cost of potentially multiple times more. In the past three months, there had been an uptick in further advances on bonds — when a consumer borrows against what has already been paid off on a home‚ usually in order to pay off other‚ short-term debt, said Shaun Rademeyer‚ CEO of BetterLife‚ which offers home loans. In March alone‚ BetterLife recorded an increase of more than 48% compared with January and February. Compared with March 2016‚ BetterLife recorded an increase of more than 20% in total value of further advances approved. SA Home Loans‚ another large mortgage finance provider‚ ...

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