Swift Codes for New Zealand Banks

National Bank:  ANZBNZ22
Westpac:  WPACNZ2W

Note that the swift code for ANZ and the National Bank are the same because on the 26th June 2004 the National Bank of New Zealand Limited and ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand) Limited amalgamated to become ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand) Limited.

Types of Personal Loans

The following types of personal loans are available:

Unsecured – No security required (e.g. car or boat).

Secured – Security required (e.g. recent model car or boat)

Debt consolidation loan – Details of loans too pay off required usually requiring extra paperwork in that confirmation of the details of each loan from the original lending institution for each one.


Obtaining an ITIN (USA International Tax ID)

An ITIN can be obtained by completing Form W7 and filling it out by following the instructions in iw7.pdf.  These forms can be found by googling “fw7.pdf” and “iw7.pdf” respectively.  Then the form can be posted to the IRS.  Note it is also possible to use an acceptance agent, however they will typically charge a fee.

In New Zealand, a cost effective way to obtain proof of identity is to take your passport to the issuing authority, i.e. a Department of Internal Affairs office (do not post it there) and ask them to certify it.  They will then post it to Wellington (after giving you a receipt) and courier it back to you once the certified copy has been made (this service is free of charge since Apostille Certification is only required if another entity certifies the copy).

Are Credit Cards Inherently Evil?

Credit cards are a financial tool, and like any tool they can be used correctly or incorrectly.  They can be useful to address temporary cash flow shortages, for example you may have a mortgage with a fixed interest rate that is a lot higher than the floating rate, which ends soon, and after it finishes your expenses will be greatly reduced.

List of Selected Credit Card Issuers in NZ – now with user-friendliness ratings

The following is a list of selected credit card issuers and products where applicable:

American Express, User-friendliness: 10 out of 10
ANZ – Visa, User-friendliness: 7 out of 10
ASB – Visa and Mastercard, User-friendliness: 10 out of 10
BankDirect – Visa, User-friendliness: 10 out of 10
BNZ – American Express, Visa and Mastercard, User-friendliness: 9 out of 10
Diners Club, User-friendliness: 10 out of 10
GE Money – GEM Visa, User-friendliness: 9 out of 10
HSBC – American Express, User-friendliness: 8 out of 10
Kiwibank – Mastercard, User-friendliness: 0 out of 10
National Bank – Visa, User-friendliness: 10 out of 10
TSB – Visa, User-friendliness: 8 out of 10
Westpac – Mastercard, User-friendliness: 1 out of 10

User-friendliness is a rating given by SurfNZ Finance based on card features, customer service ratings and a number of other criteria.

Note: Be wary of online credit card applications as each application results in a credit check and too many credit checks in a certain period of time may result in a “credit risk” rating from Veda Advantage (NZ credit bureau) even if you have no defaults and you were shopping around for a better interest rate.  Also, be especially careful of ASB as the online application may state you have been “Approved” at the end, reportedly however they may delay sending you your credit card for an indefinite period.  Additionally, the lending requirements appear to be stricter and the auto-approve limits are apparently much lower than they were pre-2007.