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  • 06/06/2002
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Many lenders now offer online mortgage applications but what's in it for you?Richard Hurst finds out

Online mortgage applications are nothing new but there seems to be some confusion about the benefits. What I mean is recognising ‘true’ business benefits and not just using something because it’s new. It seems to be a hard-core of brokers who are processing real volumes of business via the web and have integrated it into their business processes.

The characteristic of brokers who have taken this step is not one of technological superiority but those who have experimented with the process and recognised a competitive advantage in speedier processing.

Estimations on the time spent arranging and processing a mortgage application tend to be about 10 hours. If your client has had some sort of financial problem in the past, this time requirement can be further extended. Online applications can drastically reduce the time taken in a number of ways.

It is a sobering statistic that up to 75% of paper applications received by lenders require immediate clarification. This may be as simple as a word or sentence being illegible, but each of these requires an outbound call from a lender.

The result for you is either to phone the lender back, or the interruption of a client meeting, neither of which are good for business. The advantage of online mortgage applications is that the form and its contents are populated in such a way, and with fundamental accuracy, that the form doesn’t need to go through any preliminary stages.

Unfortunately, some lenders take online submissions and re-key the information using internal processing staff. This ‘works around’ the vision of time savings by moving the admin task from you to the lender, but without eradicating the wasted time involved. With the more advanced sites, applications are routed directly to the application processing systems at the lender, totally bypassing traditional underwriting bottlenecks such as phone clarification on illegible or incomplete forms. The form is prioritised as the layout fits the standard underwriting process and is far less likely to be rejected as the essential fields required were compulsory within the online form.

The second benefit for you is in adding value to your client. Some lenders reduce the application fee if they receive the case online, providing a rare win-win situation that will further enhance your reputation by keeping costs down.

By utilising online applications you and your client can save time, money and more importantly, you will develop your relationship.

Richard Hurst is communications manager at Future Mortgages

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