February 27th, 2015 3:49 AM by Jackie A. Graves
Many borrowers would rather not call a broker
or visit a bank
The Internet is often
the first place mortgage seekers turn to research how much they can afford and
to get rate quotes. But many borrowers say they wouldn’t mind if the entire
mortgage process moved online—and for some, that’s becoming a reality.
Of recent home buyers surveyed by Discover Home
Loans, 36% said a mortgage process without any phone calls or
meetings with the lender or broker would be much easier. Seventy-one percent of
the 1,003 people surveyed said they’ve already submitted lender documents
through email, apps or websites, 54% filled out online mortgage applications,
50% scanned and submitted closing documents and 47% got prequalified for a
mortgage through a lender’s website, according to the survey results.
“The use of technology
has come a long way, and it’s an exciting time,” said TJ Freeborn, senior
manager of customer experience at Discover Home Loans. “Technology can be used
to research lenders, research the type of loan that may be most applicable…and
can be used to interact with the lender of choice.”
e-consenting options have also made it easier for customers to sign off on
documents, and it’s often easier to follow up and make sure mortgage bankers
receive those emailed documents—as opposed to relying on traditional mail
service or faxing paperwork, she added.
“Ten, fifteen years
ago, we didn’t have these options,” Freeborn said.
Lenda, around since the fall of 2013, takes the process completely online.
“You get a rate quote
customized, then complete the application online and electronically sign
disclosures, before uploading needed documents,” said Jason van den Brand,
co-founder and chief executive of the company.
Handling a loan online
leads to a more efficient process, he said, and that translates to lower costs
and fees for borrowers—as well as shorter closing times, the company claims.
You also can follow the status of your loan online at any time, unlike having
to call a banker for updates, he said. Currently, Lenda only works with
mortgage refinances and operates in California. This month, it will expand to
Oregon and Washington.
Getting a mortgage
entirely through online communication is particularly appealing to millennials,
who—over the next decade or so—are expected to graduate into their prime
home-buying years, van den Brand said.
Another study of 1,325
mortgage borrowers from Fannie Mae found that in addition to being younger,
recent mortgage borrowers are more educated and earn higher incomes than prior
mortgage borrowers—and are “significantly more likely to use the Internet when
managing personal finances and shopping for a mortgage.”
As for now, however, most people are doing
business the traditional way, at least some of the time, according to the
Discover report. Some 94% of home buyers said they communicated with their
lenders by phone and 67% said they met in person, the survey found.
By Amy Hoak | To view the original article