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Are only a tiny aspect of the debt which is crippling many people - and luckily in the UK at least, they are pretty hard to collect on should the mortgage start to default; overdrafts, credit cards & store cards - more easily obtained *unsecured debts* are really what I was talking about.

Though an interesting fact about UK mortgages, unlike the majority of the rest of the world, is that your property, although acting as the security for your loan; does not free you from the debt of the mortgage should the value of your home not cover your mortgage debt. So if you owe 500K on your mortgage and the bank gets arsy because you are disabled following a car crash - the bank could auction your home for 300k and you would still be personally liable for the 200k + costs shortfall.

I am very pleased that you are happy with your mortgage, and I am sure you got very good rates, but in these times I am extremely surprised that it costs less to buy than to rent + save - especially as an individual. Unless you have interest only of course, in which case I hope you are saving anyway. House pricing are stagnant and there is currently not a great sign of them increasing in value too soon, so equity isn't your big thing there. Even with a full mortgage, you only pay the house value off in the latter 6 years or so, thanks to compound interest. maths removed.

I think mortgages after a hefty deposit, in a stable neighbourhood with a stable job and savings + plus a low maintenance house = win. I think renting with zero risk + saving / investing = win.

I think pushing credit cards, overdrafts, 100% mortgages, ancillary insurance + other costs on Joe Public to enable him to keep up with the jones' is a bad thing.

Renting does not have to be open ended and is certainly not 'nothing to show for it' - you have obviously never done it right, or looked at the maths. Mortgages are not an easy or safe way to get a house. Or are you just too stuck in the 'I must buy a house because that's what the banks told me to do' mindset to think about it ?

It's nice to have the choice and to be able to make an informed decision dependent on your own circumstances. It is not nice to live your life in fear of having everything you own taken away because you can't pay a 5k store card you got last year at Christmas because it came with free shampoo.