Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Column: History Repeats Itself

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Column: History Repeats Itself

Article excerpt


SO, we're now faced with mortgage companies that don't want our business. Companies that are fearful of being in the Best Buy tables, in case they get swamped by customers. Building societies that don't want to lend us money.

It's like a return to the Good Old Days. In the olden days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, circa 1983, it was easier for a camel to push its hump through a really small space no bigger than the eye of a needle, than it was to get a mortgage.

Cement Girl and I got turned away by some of the finest financial institutions in the land. We got physically ejected by others.

We were turned down for a mortgage for several reasons.

Firstly, the building society that we had our savings with said we hadn't saved with them for long enough.

That was their reason. We had enough money for a deposit, but it wasn't old enough. They wanted the same money but over a longer time.

They told us to come back when we were older. All grown up. They're still waiting.

I think they had us down as 'Will Never Last'. Regrettably, how wrong they were.

Our marriage is the longest war of attrition known to man. We make the Koreas look like long lost buddies.

We were 22. Both working and we put money into their building society every month. But the quill said no.

I would imagine that the frosty faced cow who turned us down will be a freezing cold, desperately lonely pensioner who smells of cat by now. I certainly hope so. If there's any justice I'll see her on the next series of The Life Of Grime. She'll emerge shouting from beneath cardboard. Still, forgive and forget. Clutching a bottle of Clan Dew.

And she'll have a beard.

We then went to another building society. Who told us to make an appointment, so that they could refuse us at a more convenient time. Which they did. We didn't save with them, so why should they lend to us? I'd been under the impression that lending money was a profitable exercise.

Clearly not.

A mortgage was a prized commodity only bestowed upon the precious few. And we weren't them. We weren't precious.

Looking back, we must have been sub-prime. We explained that we were quite happy to move our money to them, and also to pay back considerably more than we'd borrowed if they would allow us to buy a house. By the time we'd explained all this, the security guards were showing us how the building society looked from the outside.

The next building society told us that they didn't like what I did. I was very concerned as to how they knew.

This was in the days before Tinternet.

I presumed people at the pubs must have told them.

"Don't lend to him, he drinks like a fish ... he eats pickled eggs for a bet ... his mother's a barmaid, you know ... his dad goes to the working men's club . …

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