Digital Mortgage Solutions Improve the Loan Process, New Ellie Mae Survey Finds
Survey of Mortgage Borrowers Reveals How They Use Technology to Get a Purchase Loan or Refinance Their Existing Mortgage
The Connecting with Borrowers Online study found the trend toward online research and discovery has accelerated over the last decade. In the last year, 92 percent of borrowers did online research prior to reaching out to lenders, compared to only 57 percent of borrowers who took out mortgage loans between five and 10 years ago. Borrowers are conducting online research to find out where they can get the best rate (72 percent), how much they qualify for (59 percent), and where to find a lender they can trust (48 percent). Purchase borrowers were twice as likely to spend more than 10 hours in online research than re-fi borrowers.
The Ellie Mae survey also found that borrowers are increasingly going online to initiate contact with a lender. Among all borrowers, the most common means of first contact was online (34 percent), followed by phone (30 percent), and in-person (18 percent). Online first contact is trending upward (46 percent within the last year vs. only 20 percent between five and 10 years ago). Refinancers were 21 percent more likely to reach out to a lender online than purchase borrowers.
The most common online loan activities among all borrowers were:
|Most Common Online Activities|
|Compare loan options||59%|
|Upload bank statements||51%|
|Upload application data||48%|
|Fill out the full loan application||43%|
|Start the loan process||43%|
Additionally, the top tasks borrowers did not do online, but wish they had, or were open to doing in the future, included:
|Online Activities with Unfulfilled Potential|
|Order/pay for an appraisal||48%|
|Prequalify without a credit report||44%|
|Prequalify with a credit report||41%|
|Get a pre-approval letter from lender||40%|
Generational Preferences Amongst Borrowers
As might be expected, the survey showed generational differences in how borrowers research and interact with lenders. Across generations, borrowers went online to complete nearly every phase of the loan process from comparing options to application and qualification.
Millennials were twice as likely as Boomers to make initial contact with lenders online (43 percent vs. 24 percent). Boomers, on the other hand, preferred more in-person interactions with their lenders. One-third (35 percent) of Gen Xers first reached out to their lender online, falling in between Millennials and Boomers.
More Interaction Between Borrowers and Lenders Happens Online
The preference for online tools to communicate with a lender cuts across all generations. Web self-service was the preferred means of research and discovery (34 percent), as well as the most common way borrowers interacted with their lenders. The phone (20 percent) and email (18 percent) were the second and third most preferred channels during the research and discovery stage, respectively. The human element remained important across age groups; all generations of borrowers indicated at least some desire to speak with a loan officer in person, especially during the application phase.
Seventy-one percent of borrowers worked with lenders who provided an online portal for sharing documents, of which 33 percent of borrowers shared they liked the online portal and 49 percent loved it. Interestingly, borrowers who were provided an online portal were two-times more likely to say technology improved the loan process. They were also 41 percent more likely to rate their overall loan experience excellent or above average, and 18 percent more likely to say they would turn to the same loan officer for another loan.
“The digital mortgage is an idea whose time has come,” said
A complimentary copy of the full eBook on Connecting with Borrowers Online is available at https://www.elliemae.com/engage/consumer-engagement-suite-ebook.
Ellie Mae surveyed more than 500 consumers who took out mortgage loans over the past ten years (2008-2018). Generation X borrowers (ages 35-54) comprised the largest group of survey respondents at 43 percent, followed by Millennials (under 35) at 29 percent and baby boomers (55+) at 28 percent. A majority of respondents obtained a purchase loan (53 percent), while most others refinanced (44 percent). The remaining survey respondents took out a reverse mortgage (3 percent). Of purchase loan consumers, 43 percent were first time homebuyers, 22 percent were relocating, and 13 percent described themselves as “move-up” buyers.
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Source: Ellie Mae