That’s a harsh way to put it, but we need to grasp a harsh truth. If, like me, you have been with the same bank since childhood, you may think you are entitled to their support. But in the bank’s eyes, you’re not.

2017 has been a shocker. I’ve seen good clients knocked back by their banks – even with those a solid credit record and years of loyalty. It’s nothing personal. The Reserve Bank is concerned about debt building up in the economy and has told the banks to dial back the amount they borrow overseas. Since we don’t save enough money in New Zealand, this means restricting the inflow of funds.

With less money to lend, banks have tightened their criteria. They can pick and choose who gets a loan, and if you don’t meet their model, they will turn you down. To add insult to injury, they may even tell you how to manage your finances.

What’s the way forward? Consider splitting your banking. Husbands and wives should hold accounts at different banks. Teenagers can have a KiwiSaver with one bank and their main account elsewhere. You’ll improve your chances of getting a yes from one of them.

Above all, make sure you talk to me before you refinance, go house hunting or start renovations. I’ll share my tips on the best way to get your loan approved.

Want smart advice on your mortgage? You don’t even have to brave the Auckland traffic – you can Skype us. Make an appointment.