Mortgage brokers like to know who they're lending to before handing over the money to help you buy a house, going as far as asking how often you dine out, how much of a gambler you are and even your dry cleaning bill.
The intrusive questioning by brokers comes as part of new affordability checks to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, which was brought about by subprime lending to people who struggled to pay back their mortgages.
However, this has lead to potential borrowers being grilled for up to three hours as they field questions about their plans for more children and how much they spend on nappies.
In response to a mortgage market review by the Financial Conduct Authority watchdog, lenders revealed some of the oddest questions they ask potential borrowers, including:
- How often do you have friends over for dinner? Do you have steak?
- What is your monthly expenditure on pet food?
- How much do you spend on alcohol per month? Does this increase in particular months?
- What is your average monthly expenditure on dry cleaning?
- Will you go back to work after having children?
- On average, how much do you spend per month on nappies and other child-related perishables?
- How often do you spend money on a haircut?
- Do you expect your spouse to get a pay rise this year?
- Is your husband a member of a gold club?
- When you move home, are you going to continue paying £18 per month for your milk delivery?
- Do you consider yourself to be a regular gambler? If so, how much would gamble on average per month?
An FCA spokesperson said: "The review is about ensuring that lenders are asking the right questions to ensure they’re giving loans to people who can afford them.
"There will be more consistency as these rules are applied and things bed down."
Your Mortgage Decisions director Dominik Lipnicki told Money Marketing: “We all want to protect borrowers and clients but this seems to be stretching it a bit. Where does it stop? Are lenders going to ask how much food costs go up at Christmas because the family’s coming round?”