Recently, we had cause to refinance the mortgage. Nothing unusual about that, people do it all the time. But we're in a location with a 'bad' postcode, and the loan amount was well under the usual minimum lending limit. So here's a bit of a breakdown on what happened with some of the mortgage brokers I rang.

Aussie Home Loans were one of the few that I contacted that actually rang back. They took a few details of what I needed over the phone, said they'd go check it out on their computer, and that was the last I ever heard from them.

Red Rock Mortgages apparently couldn't reach me on the phone and sent me an email instead. That contact ended pretty fast, they had a minimum lend criteria of $150,000.

Australian Lending Centre never got back to me, either by phone or email. I don't know why some businesses even bother putting contact forms on their website or secretaries on their phone lines if they don't intend to reply. rang me back at a bad time as the receptionist didn't record the right callback timeframe, but when they did ring back at the right time they were exceptionally helpful. The broker who rang me gave me lots of inside information about how banks assess their applications, what they'd be looking for on the form and gave me a few creative tips for getting around the postcode problem. However, they didn't offer to broker a loan for me, although I expect they would have if there was a higher commission in it for them. The information he gave me was most useful when I contacted:

eChoice had a rather extensive online 'contact us' form, compared to most of the other online sites that asked for little more than your name and number. They rang me back within half an hour to confirm, and sent me a quote by the end of the day. The broker I spoke to, Janet Bell, was amazingly helpful and replied quickly to every question I had, and we got our finance approved with four days to spare. They have an online tracking applet so you know what is going on with your application, which is quite helpful. While I'm sure our broker would have got a much smaller than usual commission from us, the service was excellent, so I'll be recommending eChoice to anyone who asks about home loan brokers in future.