Report Mortgage approvals sharply DOWN! in House prices and the economy Posted September 1 3 hours ago, spyguy said: Getting a mortgage was easy. Getting a mortgage that actually paid off the mortgage ~25 years later was very hard - see endowments. basically, if you could last the first 5 years, with ~9% APR and ~5-10% wage inflation, and keep your job then paying off the mortgage wasnt an issue - providing the mortgage wasnt an endowent, which 90% were. My dad had a mortgage book with the Abbey National back in the 80s. It definitely was not easy to get a mortgage, as people he turned down became enemies. When I wanted to buy a place in the late 90s, I was told I'd never get a mortgage as I was a temp.