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Want a mortgage? How much do you drink?

UK lenders may soon ask about beer and ciggy spending


 

Prospective house buyers in the UK could have to disclose how much they spend on alcohol and cigarettes to be approved for a mortgage if a proposed clampdown on loan practices is enforced, reports the Times of London. A sweeping review of mortgage lenders by the Financial Services Authority called for lenders to be more rigorous in their financial checks, down to personal spending habits. Spending on shoes, clothes and childcare could also be assessed under a new, industry-wide “affordability test,” the paper reports. The new measures aim to stamp out risky lending that has been criticized for compounding the financial crisis and tipping hundreds of thousands of homebuyers into negative equity. The authority conceded that there were some flaws with its proposed plan—namely consumers potentially underestimating their spending or “failing to incorporate past experiences into their budgeting.” The paper has been put out for consultation until early next year with a “feedback statement” to be published next March.

The Times


 
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