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Digital Mortgage Revolution—What’s All The Fuss Really About?

The mortgage industry is undergoing a revolution—but will the process of buying a home become any easier?

By Jeff Vasishta February 22, 2017
Image courtesy of HousingWire

Chase Bank just announced that it was getting into digital mortgages with Roostify, a mortgage technology provider. Woo-hoo! Does a digital mortgage really mean a home can now be purchased with a few swipes and taps of your smartphone? Well, not really. Digital mortgages are all the buzz these days. But are they anything more than a marketing tool?

There’s some good news and bad news. The good news is that a bunch of engineering boffins have figured out a way for  prospective home buyers to forgo the tedious and often excruciating process of sitting down with loan officer and going through the minutiae of your financial life. Now, providing you are handy with a scanner, you can upload everything online and track the process. Yes, it saves time and—yes, it means personal interactions are kept to a minimum if that’s what you prefer.

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Here’s the bad news. You still need to have all your docs in order, the same as with the old school mortgages—pay stubs, W2’s, taxes, etc. Your credit needs to be good and banks will still run you through the ringer, checking and double checking the validity of your documents before plunging you into the black hole of underwriting and doing an appraisal prior to giving you your final answer.

The digital mortgage revolution was given a huge boost with Quicken Loans Rocket Mortgage, primarily a genius marketing tool. The TV ads simply showed a rocket taking off, accompanied by a witty voice over and a few words on screen. They didn’t really say much about the actual mortgage but succeeded in providing enough intrigue and humor in an industry devoid of anything of the sort. Consumers, particularly younger ones, bought in. Now, high street backs like Chase are playing catch up, trying lure millennials, who live by their smartphone.

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“Millennials are expecting different services and capabilities from lenders,” Accenture Credit Services managing director Kelly Adkisson said to the HousinWire. Accenture’s research suggests the emergence of a new high value customer segment—“Generation D”. Generation D spans age groups and encompasses people who are deeply digital, integrating online and social media into the fabric of their lives.

“We and Chase have a shared vision to bring a straightforward, more transparent mortgage experience to more consumers than ever before,” said Rajesh Bhat, CEO of Roostify, echoing the digital mortgage mantra.

“Digital technology is reshaping the mortgage industry and is rapidly influencing how consumers make purchases today,” concurred Mike Weinbach, CEO of Chase Mortgage. “This platform will allow us to be where more of our customers are, which is online and on their phones, while still offering the option to work with us in person if they prefer.”

Apart from a smartphone to track your shiny new digital mortgage application, all you need is a job, good credit, cash, filed taxes and pay-stubs—and you’re good to go.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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