Charity calls for exams for first-time buyers

Malcolm Hurlston, chairman of national debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service says mortgages for first-time buyers should be sold like driving licences and people should have to sit exams.

In a speech today at the CCCS Annual Convention Hurlston called for the Financial Services Authority to issue home ownership certificates to anybody buying a first home

He said that pre-mortgage counselling had already been launched in the United States by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and that the UK should follow its lead.

He said that those most likely to have a debt problem in Britain are those on low incomes who have wrongly, or too soon, embarked on home ownership:

He says: “Home ownership is a lifestyle choice but a trap for many.

“First-time mortgages should be sold not with pretty ribbons and tax breaks but with health warnings.

“They should be sold like driving licences, after study and an exam.”