In age there your phone can bring you a ride-share service within minutes, reserve your seat at your favorite restaurant, and bring everything from diapers to car parts to 60” TVs to your front door; it seems it was only a matter of time before the mortgage went the all-digital, consumer-friendly route. But while it seems harmless to utilize Uber for a $6 ride to the airport, does it make sense to use your phone or computer to obtain a $300,000 loan? Real estate writer Devon Thorsby tackles that question in an article for RIS Media. The phenomenon is going well beyond the well-publicized “Rocket Mortgage” via Quicken Loans, as a host of lenders are quickly adopting an efficient online process designed to attract Millennials and other tech-savvy consumers. Thorsby provides a list of five things to know before you take the plunge yourself and surf the web for a mortgage:Have no fear! Thorsby encourages the would-be buyer that just because you don’t know every detail, don’t hesitate to start the process and find out your options. Additionally, while the mortgage has a reputation (earned in many cases) of being complicated and agonizing, the whole point of an online mortgage is to take some of the headaches out by allowing you to fill out some of the preliminary forms in an easier fashion. Expect efficiency and a streamlined process. The online experience is a new frontier for competition, resulting in better and smoother experiences for consumers as both lenders became more skilled. Consumers become more comfortable with the process. Here’s one way that the online mortgage can truly improve your home buying process, compared to the traditional paper-only method: speed. With an online process, delivering an offer to a seller sooner or getting pre-approved with an app might make all the difference. You still need to shop. Just because you’re committed to getting a mortgage online, don’t forget to get multiple quotes and do your homework with prospective lenders. Make them earn your trust. This is such an important part of the mortgage process – remember that you are taking on hundreds of dollars in debt! Make sure you’ve asked about the process and demanded a level of transparency that makes you feel comfortable that you’re dealing with an honest firm. Use government agency databases (federal and state) publicly to check on their record and ensure that you are getting all the information you need.
Don’t be afraid to “walk” away. If you don’t feel comfortable with the information, interest rate, or anything else, don’t worry. Perhaps the online experience isn’t for you, and you’d prefer more face-to-face interaction. Then call your lender and ask for a loan officer to meet with.
Whether or not an online mortgage is in your immediate future, know that lenders are making them more available, and it pays to educate yourself at least. Want to learn more? Continue reading here.