Banks Spending Time Educating Borrowers
Getting a mortgage is easier now that the Great Recession is history, but more and more the process is resembling a crash course in finance, with banks as tech-savvy teachers and consumers as eager students. Home buying and borrowing has become a very difference science, with lenders stocking their websites with information and banks offering face to face tutorials for buyers who want to know more.
TD Bank’s recently released Mortgage Service Index survey explains that many consumers not only want banks to educate them, but expect them to. It found that buyers want more assistance from lenders because they don’t understand today’s mortgage procedures. While buyers are willing to shop around online, they expect service inside the brick and mortar offices from people trained to explain to them how to get the best mortgage for their credit, budget, and property.
The survey collected feedback from over 1,400 consumers who bought houses during the last ten years. It measured their level of interest in buying and their commitment to following through with the loan application process. The bank found that 51% of buyers thought lenders should offer more information online, and 49% felt employees needed more training.
Understandably, first-time buyers asked for the most help. 52% want bank sponsored workshops and seminars, and almost 60% asked for more online data to review before sharing their financial records.
Seasoned buyers more familiar with the process were nevertheless clueless about local, state, or federal affordable loan programs available in their area. A whopping 44% of them had no idea there might be area specific options to consider.
A good idea is for borrowers to do their homework before reaching out to a specific lender. Read about loan options online, then pick a local bank or mortgage broker to work with. The new trend to educate consumers in advance seems to be working. A final word from the survey is that most buyers (68%) are feeling better about the mortgage application process. This will promote more closed sales, happy sellers, and most importantly, informed buyers who understand their real estate loan, and are less likely to default. Good news for the U.S. economy!