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Mortgage borrowers report increasingly digital experiences

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Digital mortgages on the rise

The mortgage process is getting more and more digital. In fact, according to a new study, a whopping 92 percent of recent mortgage borrowers did online research before even speaking to a lender. Just 57 percent of borrowers did the same five to 10 years ago.

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How mortgage borrowers are going digital

According to Ellie Mae’s recent Connecting with Borrowers Online study, researching mortgage lenders online has become increasingly popular over the last five years, with almost all of recent borrowers conducting some sort of online search before contacting a lender.

The study found that 72 percent of all borrowers researched where to find the best rate, while another 59 percent researched their loan options and how much cash they qualified for. Just under half researched lender trust.

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Other online activities today’s borrowers are taking part in? Fifty-one percent uploaded bank statements, while 48 percent uploaded some amount of application data. A full 43 percent completed their entire loan application online.

Nearly three-quarters of all borrowers used an online portal to work with their lender. Those borrowers were 41 percent more likely to rate their overall loan experience either excellent or above average.

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What borrowers want

But online convenience hasn’t made its way into all areas of the mortgage process, apparently. The study found that 48 percent of recent borrowers wish they’d been able to order or pay for their appraisal online, while another 41 to 44 percent wanted to get prequalified online.

Forty percent want to get their pre-approval letter online, too.

“The digital mortgage is an idea whose time has come,” said Joe Tyrrell, Ellie Mae’s executive vice president of corporate strategy. “Borrowers today expect a simple online application that guides them step-by-step through the loan process. But high-tech and human-touch are equally important. Borrowers still want to speak with someone knowledgeable when they have questions or concerns.”

At the research stage, the study showed web self-service as the most preferred way to interact with a lender, followed by phone and email.

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Verify your new rate (Jan 18th, 2019)