Monday, 19 October 2009

Credit us with some intelligence

Having just arrived back from this morning’s x-ray I’ve decided that I really can’t leave the hospital, even if my bones have mended. The reason for my reluctance to depart from this relative sanctuary stems from a report I read in this morning’s Times concerning mortgages. It suggests to me the world has lost its marbles and I'm not sure I can live in a world that's quite so insane.

It appears that the government wants to clamp down on credit, including mortgages. Before a bank or building society can lend you money the government wants it to carry out a full audit on an applicant’s spending habits and outgoings to see if they can afford the loan. The customer's answers will have to be backed up with payslips and copies of bank and credit card statements. The interview could even include invasive questions such as how much you spend on alcohol, tobacco and other frivolous items like food and entertainment. I can just imagine how the interview with the bank manager might proceed…

“Good morning, Mr Traction. Do take a seat. Now, we’ve received your application but before we can give you an answer there are just a few questions we need to run through under the new Loans and Credit Act (2009). So, shall we get started?”

“Now, how much do you think you spend on alcohol each week?”

“Well I probably buy a couple of bottles of wine each week, usually to drink with meals at the weekend.”

“Hmm… well, according to your Tesco Club Card statement I put it to you that the figure is closer to four bottles a week as well as a dozen of those dumpy bottles of French beer and the odd bottle of sherry and gin. I’m afraid I’m going to have to mark you down on that one. Now, what about tobacco?”

“I don’t smoke.”

“Excellent. Would you just mind opening your mouth so I can check your teeth for nicotine stains? Then I’d like you to breathe into this tube so I can measure the carbon monoxide level in your breath.”

“Do you have Sky TV subscription?”


“What about daily newspapers and magazines?”

“I occasionally buy a paper on the way to work.”

“Which one?”

“What’s that to you?”

“Well, if you’re a Mail or a Sun reader, our research shows that you’re more likely to make high-ticket impulse purchases. Mail readers generally have a tendency to buy walk-in baths and stairlifts, while Sun readers tend to spend rather a lot on pornography, lingerie and takeaway curries.”

“Look! This is insane. All I want is a loan to buy a house. Why do I have to answer all these ridiculous questions?”

“I’m sorry, sir, I thought you just wanted to open a savings account. If it’s a home loan you’re after then you’ll have to come back when you’re able to set aside a whole day to go through the paperwork. I’m afraid the mortgage questionnaire is far more detailed.”


  1. Impulse purchases of walk-in baths and stairlifts - ROFL. Unfortunately I fear you're not wrong about the whole mess. No-one is going to credit us with anything, let alone an iota of intelligence (elitist, doncha know?).

    I have evidently missed the boat re housing, due to an idiotic desire not to be landed with a mortgage I couldn't afford in recent years. Ah well. All I really want property for is to store my library and paint murals in the rooms. Anyone got a spare house for a bibliomaniac, paintbrush-wielding opera singer?

    You're doing a grand job of keeping your mind while all about are losing theirs. Thank you!

  2. The thing is that what you have written is praticaly a python sketch.

    and it WILL happen

  3. Beautifully written - shame it's true...

    Hope you get good news from the X-Ray

  4. I own my own house outright, but Waitrose wouldn't let me have a store card because we are self-employed and we don't have a regular income. Not that I wanted a store card anyway - I just thought I'd see what happened if I asked.

  5. Good heavens. Banks are finally being responsible about pushing their nasty little bank products with added commission, bonuses and secret mark ups, but they're they're not lending anything! Heh!

  6. I too have been reading alot about the crackdown on lending but find assurance in the fact that very little of the population have a perfect credit history and it should only take the lending authorities about 3 months to figure out their "responsible lending plan" is in fact lending to no-one.

    We have about AUD 450,000 in property and 20,000 in shares - obviously not enough for my husband to be approved for a new mobile phone with 24 month plan. Companies like that are just going to drive themselves into the ground and when they do, NO SYMPATHY FROM ME!!! :)

    - *Kat the Great*

  7. My credit rating is not perfect (it's fine, but not perfect) as I own my home outright and haven't applied for loans or credit cards in recent years. Apparently the absence of a recent credit check counts against you!