PEOPLE applying for a mortgage are facing tougher affordability checks which delve into their spending habits on outgoings ranging from childcare, travel and clothing to wine clubs and even a flutter on the horses.

The higher hurdles are being put in place as lenders gear up for new rules which come into force on Saturday under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which aims to prevent any return to irresponsible lending. Experts are warning people that they may want to consider reining back on their spending several months before applying for a mortgage, as providers will want to sift through around three months of bank statements "with a fine tooth comb".

The new industry-wide rules mean mortgage providers have to take a much keener interest in an applicant's regular outgoings, which could also include what they spend on food, household bills, loans, credit cards, toiletries, hobbies and leisure activities. The changes will not only affect buyers but also people looking to remortgage.

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