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In a nutshell, the affordability checks are designed to ensure that you can afford the mortgage repayments – both now and when interest rates rise. You'll be expected to provide evidence of your income and everything you spend, including essential payments and non-essential outgoings, covering everything from utilities, council tax and rent/mortgage payments to leisure costs, entertainment and holidays.
Providing a simple layout of money coming in versus money going out won't be enough, and nor will it be sufficient to try and convince the lender that you can afford the payments based on your salary – it's all about evidence, not income multiples, with the whole point being that you need to prove you're not overreaching yourself financially.
Being unable to prove that you can afford the repayments will mean you'll be eligible for a smaller mortgage than you'd like. However, being rejected outright will have bigger consequences and could make it more difficult to be accepted with a different lender in the future.
So, if you're already struggling to make ends meet, you'll want to focus on making the necessary improvements. Don’t forget to consider your credit rating too. At the very least you'll need to start scrutinising your budget and keeping records. While it may take longer to prepare sufficiently it’ll be well worth it in the long run.
Treat affordability checks seriously and make sure you’ve done your sums in terms of your outgoings and income before you submit these to the lender.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.