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Mortgage slave

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房奴 (fáng nú): mortgage slave

A mortgage slave is someone who is a slave to their home mortgage (spends more than 40% of his or her disposable income on a home mortgage). People may become mortgage slaves by purchasing a house with a very low down payment and spending twenty to thirty of their golden years working like slaves to afford very high monthly mortgage payments.

The word “mortgage slave” was included in a list of new Chinese words by the Ministry of Education in 2007, demonstrating the extent to which high property prices have become a source of pressure and anxiety for China's lower- and middle-class citizens.

In addition to “mortgage slaves,” there are also card slaves, car slaves, and certificate slaves. These newly coined words reflect an increasing dependence on credit and loans in the pursuit of property, a lifestyle, and education.

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