“Let me get this straight,” I said to the mortgage broker. “In order to borrow less, I have to earn more?” That was, she confirmed, the gist of what she was saying. She was apologetic but the bottom line was immovable.

The lenders, those invisible men and women in grey suits in a boardroom somewhere, will not readily agree to give me another mortgage if I move. This is because a lot has changed since the last time I applied, which was a long time ago, back in the days when mortgages were easy to get.

Nowadays, one has to be able to prove, with a degree of certainty akin to the sun coming up tomorrow, that one will always earn the same or more as one earns now. As such, the paperwork the lenders want has become so elaborate that requests for the paperwork are generating almost as much paperwork as the paperwork itself.

You know you are in trouble when you have to make lists about lists, and such is the situation I now find myself in.

If I could work out what these bits of paperwork were I would be a lot happier. But they are called by a series of letters and numbers, and no matter how many times the broker and the accountant explain what they are my, brain won’t take it in. I have taken to calling them “SA30-thingy” and “E10-whojamaflip”. The broker and the accountant are getting exasperated.

But the thing I find the most infuriating, not to mention immoral, is the fact that the system appears completely happy with me continuing to borrow a substantial amount of money, but is utterly resistant to, and obstructive of, my requests to borrow a much smaller amount.

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