Frequently Asked Questions

Something about having questions…

General Process Questions

What is a Mortgage Broker?

We arrange home loans between borrowers (that’s you) and lenders (that’s the banks). Our connections with major lenders allow us to find the best deal for you, often securing better rates than advertised. We save you hours of time as you don’t have to individually contact each lender. It’s important to note that the broker doesn’t approve the loan, that is still done by the lender, but we make the process easier and less stressful. At Summit Mortgages you are our priority. We pride ourselves in developing strong, long-term relationships by delivering expert advice and knowledge. The best bit? It’s all free. We are paid directly by the banks, so there is no cost to you for our service.

Why use a Mortgage Broker?

Did you know that Mortgage brokers write about 40% of all new home lending? One lender can not possibly meet every client’s needs. That is where a mortgage broker can help. Through our services, you will have access to multiple lenders and are able to select the one with the right fit and the best deal.

Why use Summit Mortgages?
  • Professional, experienced & trustworthy.
  • We give sound financial advice.
  • We work for you. You are our top priority.
  • Save you time.
  • Get you a great deal.
  • Have an easy and reduced stress experience.
  • We aim to form long term client relationships that last for 25 years plus. This means we will provide ongoing support and advice long after the initial transaction takes place.
  • We follow up after loan draw down to check in. Then help with refixes or other advice.
  • We work hard to get the best overall deal for you by having a the right loan structure, negotiating lower interest rates, better cash backs and ensuring the T&C’s are fair to you.
What lenders do you use?

We have a relationship with most lenders in New Zealand. We can usually secure the best deals through one of the big banks, so they are our first option. Sometimes, for lending outside the standard criteria (eg. less than 20% deposit), there are other options. If you have a preference on lenders then we will begin there, if not, we’ll find you the best deal possible.

What qualifications do your advisors hold?

All of our advisers are highly experienced in the banking and finance world. They are also Registered Financial Advisers (RFA’s) and are approved by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand. Advisers attend regular professional development and all maintain continuing education plans. Basically, we are experts in all things home loans.

Do we have to meet in person?

Thanks to the power of technology we can help you anywhere in New Zealand. We can arrange financing for you through chat, email, phone or skype as needed. We don’t need to meet you in person. We will of course need to verify your ID, but that is a very simple process.

How much does it cost to use your services?

Absolutely nothing. When you work with a mortgage broker on your home loan, there is no cost to you the client. No, we don’t work for free. The lender that approves your loan pays us for successful applications.

Applying for a Loan

How do I apply for a loan?

It’s easy. Contact us and one of our Advisers will assist you with a chat to understand your situation.

What type of home loans do you offer?

Our extensive panel of lenders ranges from the largest lenders in the country through to small specialist lenders. This means we can offer home loans that suit nearly all situations, including loans for new property purchases, refinancing of your current property, owner-occupiers or investment purposes. Product features available include fixed or variable rate loans, interest only, offset accounts, lines of credit, or combination loans.

What are your interest rates?

The interest rate will depend on a range of things. We work on your behalf and do our best to negotiate better than standard pricing. Rest assured we work for you and often get better rates than dealing direct with the bank.

How much of a deposit will I need?

Standard lending requires a 20% deposit. But some lenders and banks will approve you with less. You can sometimes get lending approved at 5% deposit. We can give you guidance.

Do you offer loans for first home buyers?

Absolutely. There are options and we can help you with accessing your KiwiSaver. Contact us and we can help you through the process and find a home loan solution for you.

Can I use my KiwiSaver funds?

You can use KiwiSaver to assist with the deposit for a first home. You have to tick a few boxes first. Such as:

  • Having been in KiwiSaver and making regular contributions for at least 3 years;
  • Intending to live in that house for at least 6 months;

There are a few other rules that we can walk you through.

Can I get the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant?

If you’ve been contributing to KiwiSaver for three years and fit within KiwiSaver’s criteria then you could be eligible for up to $20,000 of additional grants. If you’re purchasing an existing home then you could qualify for up to $5,000 for each KiwiSaver member. Also, if you’re building or purchasing a new home, or purchasing land to build a new home on, then you could qualify for $10,000 for each member. To be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant you must:

  • Have been contributing the required minimum amount to KiwiSaver for at least three years
  • Be 18 years of age or over
  • Be purchasing or building your first home
  • Have a household income (before tax) of less than $80,000 per year (for one person), or less than $120,000 per year (for two or more people)
  • Have a deposit that is 10% or more of the purchase price, including the addition of the grant
  • Plan to live in the house for at least 6 months following settlement or completion of the property
I am newly self-employed, can you help?

Most lenders will require that you have been self-employed for a standard timeframe and have tax returns to show that you can afford the loan. In some situations, certain specialist lenders may approve loans for borrowers who have been in business for less than the minimum term. We can help with finding a solution for you.

Can I get a cash back?

Most banks offer varying cash incentives to help entice customers to refinance their mortgage with them. In some cases these cashbacks can be quite substantial. So, we may be able to get you a better interest rate as well as a cashback to take care of the switching costs.

My own bank declined my loan. Does this mean no-one will give me a loan?

Each lender has different lending criteria. Often, someone who is declined at one bank may in fact be approved by another. That is a benefit of using Summit Mortgages. We can often steer you in the direction of the lender that will best fit your needs.

I have a bad credit rating… Can you help?

There are specialist lenders who may approve a loan even if you have a less than perfect credit history. Contact us to discuss your individual situation and find out if we can help you.

Can I use cash gifts as a deposit, from a family member etc?

Yes. Most banks want to see evidence of savings when you apply for a mortgage. But, if you have access to money that you haven’t saved (eg: an inheritance or a gift from parents) and you want to use it as a deposit to purchase a house then we can help you with that.

Can I get a loan to build a house?

Yes. The same basic lending criteria apply with a construction loan, but there are a few additional conditions. These are usually around fixed price contracts for the build of the house and valuations. The loan structure will also be a bit different during the build phase, but once finished you would likely move to a normal lending situation. We can provide more advice on your individual situation.

Securing a Loan

How do you help us select a good mortgage lender?

We deal with multiple lenders and each have their positive or negative points. Things to consider are available cash backs, fees, online banking, branches, and services. We can make recommendations to you based on knowledge, experience and negotiations. The final decision is down to you, we simply want to ensure that you are happy and you get the solution that works for you.

How will my application be assessed?

Three key factors are taken into account by the lender when assessing and approving your loan: – Serviceability – does the lender believe you can afford the loan? – Valuation – does the proposed loan sit within the lender’s LVR rules, and is the security you can offer acceptable? – Credit history – have you previously paid other debt owed (e.g. loans and credit cards) on time?

How long will it take to get an approval?

We get to work on your application ASAP. The lender will have a turn around time and this varies from time to time. If it’s an urgent request, we can help push it along a bit quicker. But generally from all the information being received we will have a response within several days.

Should I fix or float?

This is very dependent on your individual situation. Often a mixture is of both fixed and floating is  good. While having the majority of your loan fixed gives you certainty for budgeting and payments, having a small portion on floating gives you flexibility in case you are able repay more. Some lenders will even allow you to repay a small amount of fixed loans each year, but not all of them do. Whether you should fix, float, or have a mixture of both depends on your individual circumstances, but we can chat you through the risks and benefits of each.

What documentation do you need from me for purchasing or refinancing a property?

The documentation required will differ depending on your individual circumstances and the type of loan you are applying for. For all loans you will need to give evidence to such as PAYE payslips, ID and proof of address etc. We will let you know all the information you will need to provide.

Do I need to have the property valued?

When purchasing a property, a lender will either take the contract price as the valuation of the property or require an independent valuation. For refinancing, the lender will almost certainly require an independent physical valuation. This can be a E-Value which is quick and cost effective or sometimes they may require a Registered Valuation. We can put you in touch with a reputable Valuer if you need.

After the Initial Loan Transaction

Do we still deal with Summit Mortgages after the property settles?

Yes. You can contact us at any time with queries or to discuss fixed rate renewals. We keep all of the details on file in our offices. You can subscribe to email newsletters to stay up to date with our latest news and we will check in with you from time to time to ensure you are well looked after.

How do I go about re-fixing my loan?

When any fixed rate mortgage is coming to the end of the fixed rate term, your bank will try to determine your new rate. Often Summit Mortgages can negotiate a better fixed rate on your behalf, as well as knowing what your goals are and give advice based on your situation.

Can we make lump sum payments off our fixed rate loan?

Some lenders allow you to make small repayments off fixed rates and some do not. If you intend to do this we recommend having a portions of your loan on a floating rate as it gives you options. Often floating rates are higher than fixed, so this should be a consideration. Fixed rates are generally lower and that is why lenders lock you in at that rate for a set time period.

Can I pay off all or part of the loan at any time?

This depends on the structure of your loan. In some circumstances you can make additional repayments or pay off your loan without incurring penalties. Even if you are on a fixed term you may still be able pay some of your loan off. Talk to us to find out.

Can I transfer my loan to my new house if I decide to move?

Yes, as long as you meet the lending criteria. We can help you with this.

Can I borrow more later if I need it?

Yes, a mortgage top up is possible, but you will need to meet the lending criteria.

Can I borrow money to renovate my Home?

As long as you meet the lending requirements you certainly can renovate your home. There can be a few conditions such as a valuation for example. We can walk you through this depending on your individual circumstances.

Can I access the equity in my home?

Yes, you can. All lending is still subject to the lending criteria but we can help you find the solution.

How much deposit do I need for an Investment Property?

Currently, you need 35% deposit to purchase an Investment Property with a bank. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has set these rules and the banks can be quite strict on this. However, the good news is there are some other options outside the major banks. Also, you may be able to use equity from your family home. Talk to us about your individual circumstances and we can provide more information.

How much deposit do I need to buy a beach house?

You can borrow up to 80% to purchase a beach house. As with any lending there are a few specific rules you will need to comply with. We can walk you through these.

How can I contact Summit?

You can contact us either by phone on 021 822 073, by email at, chat with us on the website, fill in our contact form, or message us from our Facebook page.

I have a question that isn’t listed here?

Please send it through. We will get back to you with the answer and also may add it to the list of Frequently Asked Questions. We are always looking for ways to make it easy for people.

Meet your team

Kyle Imeson

Kyle Imeson

Director & Mortgage Adviser, Financial Adviser, FSP 607609

Matt Walton

Matt Walton

Mortgage Adviser, Financial Adviser, FSP1001298

Lou-Ann Pretorius

Lou-Ann Pretorius

Administration Manager