Online Mortgages


Even just a few short years ago, the idea of being able to apply for and complete an entire mortgage application, online and in your pajamas, was probably a fanciful one.

Now, more and more lenders are doing so and applications can be made and processed without the customer ever having to set foot inside a bank or lender’s office – or put on a suit.

Last fall, prospective first time home owner Alfonso Brigham, applied for a mortgage in excess of $700k to purchase a condo in San Francisco, he conducted most of the process without ever speaking with an advisor.

There was only one part of the application that required human interaction and this was all done over the phone. He simply uploaded all the relevant documentation – verifying his income, identity and so on.

He chose to take out his mortgage with SoFi, a company known to many better as a provider of student loans. They have recently expanded into mortgages, seeing an opportunity to provide an online service to younger people who are tech savvy but time poor and who maybe don’t own a suit to wear to the mortgage provider’s offices.

Not only can all the paperwork be uploaded, but it can then be tracked online by logging into a secure portal. Now you can be in charge of overseeing your own application and keep an eye on how it is progressing.

There are numerous advantages to this, customers can add information and make an application at a time that suits them. They are not forced to keep office hours and if they should wish to make a mortgage application on Christmas Day, then they can.

It is not just the millennials who are keen to embrace new technology to take their first steps onto the property ladder. Older clients are also interested as well and have begun to enthusiastically take up the online application process.

For people applying for ‘jumbo loans’ i.e. ones over $417k the process still requires a little more patience. These will still be human-approved and seem set to remain so for the time being.

And whereas the majority of people who have used the online application tools view them favorably, they also still wish to have access to an actual flesh and blood person to speak to, in the event of difficulty.

Finally, the last steps still require a genuine human signature to actually complete the process, so you may still need to have that suit ironed after all for your trip to the lawyer’s office!

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