When Belinda English was 19, and working in a menial job in a credit union, one act of courage changed her life.

Bel, the 269th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, wanted to work in the home loans assessment department. So Bel’s mum told her to march into the CEO’s office and plead her case – which she did.

The boss was impressed by Bel’s proactive attitude and gave her the promotion she wanted.

Bel spent the next three decades in a variety of banking roles, many of them related to home loans. Her final banking role was working as a business development manager for mortgage brokers. Broker after broker told Bel a similar story – they struggled to find enough time to work on their business because they were so busy processing loan applications.

Even though Bel had never thought about being an entrepreneur, she realised she was the perfect person to solve those brokers’ problem, given her mortgage expertise. So, in 2019, she launched Bel’s & Whistles Processing.

Unlike some other loan processing operations, Bel and her team are based entirely in Australia. Also, Bel knows exactly how banks’ credit assessment staff think, given that she used to be one of them. That means Bel is able to give her broker clients superb service – and free them up to work on their business.

It’s funny how life works. Had Bel not had the courage to ask her boss for a transfer to the home loans department all those years ago, it’s highly unlikely she’d be the owner of a thriving loan processing business today.