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Buyers Express Praise and Concern for Online Applications

Phil Hall
Mar 12, 2019
Today’s homebuyers are eager to use online platforms for their mortgage applications, but many acknowledge the digital process is not without complications

Today’s homebuyers are eager to use online platforms for their mortgage applications, but many acknowledge the digital process is not without complications.
 
According to the 2019 Borrower Insights Survey from Ellie Mae, 50 percent of mortgage borrowers said they chose their lender based on the availability of an online application or portal, while 47 percent of survey respondents said online portal access for uploading documents played a role in choosing their lender. Fifty-four percent of respondents stated they would have preferred an eClosing portal, while 44 percent would have preferred to use an online application.
 
Among borrowers, the main reasons for taking the online application route were quicker closing times (66 percent), an easier application process (61 percent), and more readily available information (54 percent). But that’s not to say the process was without hitches. Only about one-half of survey respondents said they were able to finish their online mortgage application in one sitting and about one-quarter of those who used an online mortgage application started the application online but did not finish it online.
 
“As more Millennials enter the housing market, it will be imperative for lenders to prioritize the use of all available technologies, digital tools and communication channels to foster strong borrower relationships throughout each step of the loan lifecycle—from the moment they are interested, all the way through to closing,” said Joe Tyrrell, Executive Vice President of Technology and Corporate Strategy for Ellie Mae. “With borrowers using an average of more than five different methods of communication throughout the origination process, it is up to the lenders to offer a customized approach for each individual borrower to best suit their unique needs. That means employing every channel and being able to pivot from one to another as the borrower needs shift.”

 
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