Borrowers call for lenders to go digital and reduce ‘mortgage stress’

The digital transformation of the housing and property sector is taking place across all aspects of the industry, and mortgage lending could be the next big proptech target…

According to a survey by online mortgage broker Trussle, 70% of homeowners want mortgage lenders to go digital with 625,000 claiming that they suffer from “mortgage stress”. The survey, part of April’s Stress Awareness Month, asked 2,000 UK mortgage borrowers what aspects of buying a property they found the most stressful. The overwhelming response is that they want to be able to search, apply and manage their mortgage applications online; and the good news is that mortgages are already “going digital”.

Mortgage sector at fault for making the process stressful

Mortgage stress affects two in five people. Of those surveyed, 20% stated that there is too much paperwork involved in the initial application and remortgage processes, and 15% found the use of jargon a problem. Trussle’s research found that a mortgage customer is required to deal with an average of 219 separate sheets of paper to complete their home purchase.

Ishaan Malhi, CEO and founder of Trussle, said: “I’ve experienced the frustration of struggling to secure a mortgage first-hand. There’s too much jargon, too much complexity, and not enough transparency. Millions of people lose out not only financially, but emotionally as a result. Your mental health is no less important than your financial or physical health, so I’d like to see modern brands working hard to reduce the friction and stress of their products and services.”

You can already apply for a mortgage online

In addition to Trussle, online mortgage broker Habito offers a solution to avoid lengthy paperwork processes with simple online forms. Once the forms are completed, their digital mortgage adviser delivers an overview of the mortgage options available, using a real-time analysis of over 11,000 mortgage products from 70 lenders. By moving the entire mortgage application online, Habito has removed the paperwork, eliminated the fees and reduced the stress levels of their borrowers.

Ask Alexa

Did you know that you can now use Amazon’s Alexa to search for mortgages and brokers, due to a partnership with Mortgage Brain? Just say “Alexa…open UK mortgages” and she will ask a few questions and then, using Mortgage Brain’s data, search through more than 10,000 loans to find suitable products. Customers with the Alexa app can also receive a summary of their top mortgage results, and details of local mortgage brokers.

“We’re incredibly excited and very proud to announce the launch of the first ever UK Mortgage Skill on Amazon’s Echo devices. This launch is part of a much bigger picture and strategy. It is the start of a consumer’s digital mortgage experience and, after this initial introduction, they can complete a fact-find online and securely exchange documents and messages through The Key, our CRM system’s Client Portal,” said Mortgage Brain chief executive Mark Lofthouse.

Dynamo joins the digital mortgage market

In a timely response to Trussle’s survey, online mortgage adviser Dynamo is being launched by the UK’s largest mortgage broker Countrywide and digital venture builder Blenheim Chalcot. At present a remortgage-only broker, Dynamo uses “cutting edge technology” and will offer “free to consumer” mortgage advice. By the end of 2018, the broker plans to extend its services to home-movers and first-time buyers.

Peter Curran, financial services managing director at Countrywide, said: “As the UK’s largest broker, we believe that more and more of our customers want choice in how they apply for their mortgage. Dynamo gives them the online solution.”

With the mortgage sector finally waking up to modern borrower’s needs, it seems significant strides are being made towards offering mortgages through accessible digital platforms. With Dynamo joining the ranks of Trussle, Habito, Burrow and Mortgagegym, a competitive online mortgage broker environment will surely benefit borrowers.

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