Veda Advantage, formerly BayCorp credit bureau, says there's been a big fall in loan applications across the board.
Loan financing is expected to get harder and more expensive as the global credit crunch worsens.
Director John Roberts says lending rules have tightened for everything from hire purchase agreements to mortgage finance, with loan applications of all kinds declining by 7%.
He also says the number of personal and unsecured loans has dropped sharply - with fewer people using the value of their homes to pay for the new boat or an overseas holiday.
Mr Roberts says banks are becoming risk averse and speculates that they may refuse to roll over the full value of many two-year fixed loans which are due to expire in the next three months - particularly if housing values have fallen.
But Westpac research economist Dominic Stevens says that is highly unlikely and banks will look after current customers.