Online-only mortgage process gains popularity

January 28, 2015

RIVERWOODS, Ill. (1/29/15)--More than one-third of homebuyers believe that going through the entire home-financing process online, or with no phone calls or in-person meetings, would make the mortgage process easier, a recent survey by Discover Home Loans found.

However, the majority of respondents said they still would rather have a relationship with a mortgage lender.

"As technology continues to become an integral part of our daily lives, it's only natural that buyers also use it to make the home-financing process easier," said TJ Freeborn, Discover Home Loans senior manager of customer experience. "Not only are homebuyers using the Internet to look at homes and neighborhoods, they're also using it to submit documents and complete applications online."

Whether consumers will continue to want in-person meetings with lenders, the role the Internet is playing in the mortgage process has never been larger.

Nine out of 10 respondents said they used some type of online technology to help them with the mortgage process, while 81% said technology made it easier to share financial information with lenders.

Further, 69% said it helped them keep track of important financial documents.

"The use of technology has come a long way, and it's an exciting time," Freeborn told MarketWatch (Jan. 27). "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."

The emergence of e-signing and e-consenting options also has likely contributed to the rise in popularity of online mortgage activity.

Additional highlights from the survey:

  • More than 70% of homebuyers submitted lender documents through email, a smart-device app or website;
  • Nearly half were pre-qualified for a mortgage through a lender's website; and
  • Four in 10 had perused online lender reviews before selecting a lender.