GUIDE – How to Improve Your Declined Mortgage Application

If your mortgage application has been declined, the most important thing is to understand why. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and get advice, so you can develop a new strategy. 

To help you make the most of this first step, see our guide on what to do when your application is declined. It explores the main reasons for declined applications and what you might do to avoid another “no” in the future. 

The next thing is to deepen your understanding of relevant mortgage-related topics. Everyone‘s situation is different, so this guide is designed to help you find the information you need.

Further reading to prepare you for next time

Knowledge is power, when it comes to getting a mortgage. The more you know about home loans and the process of getting one, the better.  Since launched in March 2021, we’ve assembled a library of guides and articles that will help you to understand the home loan landscape in New Zealand.  You can link to these resources below. 

Getting help to get a mortgage

In recent times, having an expert coach to help you through the mortgage application process has become commonplace. The new UMI rules are throwing a spanner in the works for many would-be borrowers, so more people are calling on the services offered by mortgage brokers (aka mortgage advisers).  

  • We’ve written a guide called what does a mortgage broker do?  It explains the role of a broker, the pros and cons of working with one, and how to make a choice. 
  • You can also check out our article about who pays a mortgage broker. This is a transparent look at how brokers get their income. 
  • If you want to work with one of the best mortgage brokers in New Zealand, take a look at our mortgage adviser page. It includes an online questionnaire, which assesses your chance of loan application success, to assist broker selection.
Mortgages 101

Even if you’ve decided to work with a mortgage broker, it’s smart to update your knowledge about mortgages. Conversations you’ll have with an adviser or a lender are much easier when you know what’s what. 

Types of home loans

These days there’s a full menu of home loan types and variants to choose from. You might want just one or you could go for a combo, to minimise interest or maximise flexibility. Our resources will help you to understand every flavour of loan. 

First home buyers 

Buying your first home is a major life achievement. Like the other things you’ve worked for, it requires careful thought and planning. Several of our guides and articles are targeted directly to first home buyers. 

  • Our first home buyer’s guide gives you a broad overview of getting a deposit together, types of mortgages available, paying off your loan and other aspects of the home buying process. 
  • Many first home buyers know they can use their KiwiSaver savings as part of a home deposit, but did you know about first home grants? A complete guide to first home loan grants and KiwiSaver is helpful when you’re trying to maximise your deposit.  
  • If your deposit isn’t as big as you’d like it to be, you might want to find out about low deposit home loans. Low deposit lending comes with extra cost, but it could be what you need. 
  • If your family have offered you some help to get you onto the property ladder, check out our guide to how parents can help their children buy a home. 
  • It’s always good to think about the bigger question – is it better to rent or buy a home? For some people, home ownership can get in the way of other life goals. 

Self-employed borrowers

If you have your own business or work on a freelance or contract basis, the requirements around proving your income and looking attractive to a lender are different. Our guide how to get a mortgage when you’re self-employed talks about how to prove your income and the benefits of approaching non-bank lenders.

Getting a loan for a new-build

When you’d rather build a new home than buy an existing dwelling, the home loan process is different. We have four articles that will help you to get up-to-speed on buying land and taking the new-build route. 

Investing in property

Owning more than one property is how many Kiwis get wealthy. While the market has fluctuations, long-term property investment is usually a reliable path to improved net worth. But success often depends on the decisions you make while putting together an investment property portfolio. We have several guides that can help you to make smart choices. 

beginner’s guide to commercial property investment.

Accessing equity in your home

Many Kiwis find themselves in an ‘asset-rich income-poor’ category, especially as they get older. It means you have lots of money (equity) tied up in your home that can’t be accessed for everyday use. If income is becoming a challenge and you want to release some equity, you can consider getting a reverse mortgage or refinancing your home. To find out more, check out the articles and guides below. 

Mortgage housekeeping

To round things off, we recommend thinking ahead to when your loan application is approved. Then you’ll move onto new challenges, like paying your loan off faster, re-fixing, reducing payments if you’re in a jam and finding money for an emergency. Take a look at the resources below. 


Visit our Learning Centre to see all our guides and articles. 


Jo Joiner -

Jo Joiner -

Jo is one of New Zealand’s most experienced and respected web content writers. Her special talent is being able to slip into the audience’s shoes, to make articles relevant, useful and engaging. Jo’s work for the financial services sector spans more than three decades.

Jo Joiner -

Jo is one of New Zealand’s most experienced and respected web content writers. Her special talent is being able to slip into the audience’s shoes, to make articles relevant, useful and engaging. Jo’s work for the financial services sector spans more than three decades.

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