1. Keep your day to day bank accounts tidy and avoid going into unarranged overdraft
Little things like this can make or break an approval, as going into unarranged overdraft on your account suggests you have trouble spending more than you earn. This includes credit card statements. Provide statements for all bank accounts when applying for a mortgage.
2. Be prepared
Be prepared and have as much info as possible as per the checklist for your Pope & Co. mortgage adviser. The more complete an application is, the better chance of approval.
3. Disclose everything
That includes debts you are about to pay off and ALL credit card and store card limits, even if the balance owing is zero.
4. Avoid short term debt!
Try and resist taking on new HP's and store cards as this can eat into your borrowing power, or pay off existing debt while saving if you can. Also avoid having credit checks done on you by multiple financiers.
5. Seek stable permanent employment
Casual jobs and hours are difficult to use as income in an application.
6. Make sure your business financials are up to date
If self-employed (ideally 2 full years). Having a year to date Profit and Loss (think Xero software) is also helpful.
7. Try and establish a savings history
KiwiSaver is still savings, but being able to save adds weight to an application.