In my job, I give people a printed list of what they need to bring, and you'd be amazed at how often the list is overlooked, misunderstood, ignored, or otherwise not worried about.
Take the tax return, for instance. So many people come in with their notice of assessment instead. Yes, there IS a difference. The tax return is what you send to the ATO. The notice of assessment is what they send back to you. But if you're self-employed, I'm looking for more than just your taxable income. I'm looking for the source of that income (eg dividends are not "income" for affordability purposes, and nor are capital gains). I'm looking for depreciation that can be added back, looking for superannuation contributions in excess of the legislated 9%, looking for interest claims which could relate to undisclosed debts. If you operate through a company then I need its return as well - if you're deriving your income through an entity that made a loss last year then you're not exactly high on the list of stable income earners.
And it's the same with every document I ask for.
The most common response, when I ask for payslips, is "oh, you can look up my account and see what goes in". Well yeah, I can, but a net figure being banked doesn't tell me if you have a HECS debt, or if you're salary sacrificing into a novated lease; the salary deposit doesn't tell me that you're a full time permanent employee, whereas holiday and sick leave accruals showing on a payslip are an excellent indicator. And if you're saying you've worked somewhere for three years, but your payslip shows a year-to-date figure of about two weeks' pay, I'm wanting to know why. Unless, of course, it's the middle of July, in which case I'll want your PAYG payment summary.
When I ask for a bank statement or a credit card statement, I don't want an internet transaction history. Yes, I understand that some companies don't post statements any more, but those companies present their information online in statement format, ie they identify the account-holder by name and address. I was given an internet printout the other day that didn't even contain the card number. It could have belonged to anyone. And it certainly didn't show the card limit, or a running balance, minimum payment required or due date. THAT is the information I'm looking for on a credit card statement.
And - my greatest peeve! - if I ask for something, it's because I need it. Not because I feel like putting you out. The answer "I can't give you a statement on my Esanda account because I haven't got one" is not an answer. Okay, you can't get a statement? Then I want the original Esanda contract, and I want bank account statements showing the last six payments being made -right amount, right date. Wouldn't it be easier to pick up the phone and call Esanda, and give them my fax number?
As for your Medicare card - don't tell me you've lost it and therefore cannot provide. I'm only going to tell you to go to Medicare and organise a new one. There's a very good reason that I need it - any dependents are going to show up on it. And if a child on your Medicare card really is 18 and no longer a dependent, I want their birth certificate.
If, for some reason, you really legitimately CAN'T provide the documentation I need (ie your house burnt down, destroying all your records), don't whinge at me when your loan takes longer to approve (or decline!) It means I need to do a lot of manual checks, and I can no longer exercise my Delegated Risk Authority to approve your loan, but must send it off to Credit Support for approval as a policy exception. This adds two working days to the time frame, while the manual checks can add a couple of days - especially if you've forgotten to authorise your accountant to talk to me, and due to the Privacy Act he can't give me any information. Or, if your credit reference check highlights an undisclosed credit inquiry. I then have to ring the company involved and find out the details, then complete a form outlining my actions and the results. Some of these companies can only be phoned between certain hours (10-12, then 2-4 for GMAC, one of the worst to ring) and I can sit "on hold" anywhere up to an hour waiting to get through. Not a high priority, in my eyes, when I have other productive work to do.
And finally - if you don't have a job - don't even bother. Honestly. You're just wasting everyone's time. I've had a number of people recently who just want an extra $30k or so on their home loan, to use to pay out credit cards and to make their next few months' home loan repayments out of. Yes, personally I feel for these people. Someone with whom you've always had a good relationship sitting in your office CRYING, yeah, I'm gonna feel bad for him and his young family. And I do. I have trouble getting to sleep some nights, worrying about some of my customers who have become friends over the years.
But - bottom line - you want a handout? I think you've confused us with the Salvos. They do the handout thing. We're a business, not a charity. And that's the fine line I have to balance, every day.