Tighter controls on home loans mean more pain for borrowers

Borrowers have been warned of soaring mortgage fees after the Financial Services Authority (FSA) called for lenders to assess income and spending in greater detail before approving loans.

Lenders are already under fire for introducing application charges of up to £1,000, which you lose if you back out or the loan offer is withdrawn – a problem not uncommon in today’s mortgage market.

Brokers say that plans by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to make all borrowers pass an ‘affordability test’ that scrutinises their spending habits mean that fees could go even higher.

Savills Private Finance broker Melanie Bien said: ‘Any step-up in regulation means more cost, and higher costs tend to be passed on to consumers.

‘Lenders are likely to favour higher charges over the alternative option of increasing interest rates as it is a less visible way of raising costs.

‘This will be unhelpful, especially for first-time buyers, for whom every penny counts.’