Suze says that Joanna cannot afford to be a homeowner. "You can't use your emergency fund as a down payment on a home," Suze says. "Because if anything goes wrong—you have a refrigerator that breaks, your heating breaks, you get flooded—you have no money to get you by."
The general rule when buying a house is that you should have at least eight months of emergency funds saved in addition to your down payment, Suze says. She also says the bank should never have approved Joanna's mortgage. "The truth of the matter is that the lending institutions should have denied you because you didn't have the money," she says. "Shame on them."