Throughout this post will be a personal comparison of the two techniques that can be used to apply for mortgages: digitally and traditionally.
I performed a thorough evaluation of each technique in order to discover their strengths and weaknesses.
For each approach, I assessed:
- Average wait time
- Ability to adjust to unusual circumstances
- Environmentally friendly
Be sure to read to the end of this article in order to decide which application method is best for you.
Prior to looking into the comparison, I want to give you a brief explanation of the two techniques you can choose from when applying for a mortgage.
A digital application for a mortgage will be accessed through the internet via an app or a website. The broker they are working with will supply a portal for the user to personally input the information of the application. The user submits the application, and then waits until they get a notification of approval.
In contrast, a traditional mortgage application is done through a person. The person applying for the mortgage will hire a mortgage broker to help them complete the application. Here, the mortgage broker handles most of the work and will notify the client when their application is approved.
After comparing the two, here are the results I found.
|Least Wait Time|
|Best Adjusts to Unusual Circumstances|
|Most Environmentally Friendly|
After applying for a mortgage, it is important that clients experience the least amount of time waiting for an approval. The homebuying market moves quickly and if clients have to wait for any significant period of time, the conditions can change which leads to unhappy clients. Choosing between a digital mortgage and a traditional mortgage can make a difference.
According to a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it has been proven that FinTech companies that utilize digital mortgage applications have reduced the average processing time by 20% (Federal Reserve Bank of New York). Mortgage technology is allowing for the application process to be automated which makes the wait time significantly less and causes the digital application technique to take the win here.
The cost of applying for a mortgage is an important factor when trying to decide between the digital and the traditional route. However, the cost of applying for a mortgage is not affected by whether the broker is using a traditional or a digital application format. Rather it is affected by each individual lender’s choice in what they want to charge. Therefore, you should search through multiple lenders to compare rates and find what is best for you. For cost, there is a tie.
Applying for a mortgage is a very serious process. There are many highly confidential documents involved that can reveal a lot of information about a person. Additionally, a large amount of money is potentially at risk when applying for mortgages. It is important to feel comfortable when applying for a mortgage and not have the worry of your information being leaked.
The digital mortgage application is a much newer technique, only being introduced in the last couple of years. As with anything new, there is uncertainty which causes the risk to increase. While many of the companies who provide the Mortgage Technology services are well protected, the recency still creates uncertainty.
Contrastingly, the traditional means of applying for mortgages has been around for close to 100 years now. The traditional system has worked out its kinks and therefore has less risk and is more comfortable. In this case, the traditional technique wins.
Because of the amount of money that is at risk when applying for a mortgage, a beneficial feature of the application process is transparency. There can be a lot of anxiety surrounding waiting for the approval of a mortgage especially with fast changing market conditions.
In the digital mortgage application process, clients can view the status of their application in live time, anytime of the day.
However, with traditional mortgage applications, clients have to contact the mortgage broker, who then has to physically figure out where the application is in the approval process - which all has to happen during working hours of the week.
The simplicity of accessing the application status with online applications is what causes the digital technique to win.
The consumer world is continuing to get more and more reliant on being able to do things from the ease of their home. According to a study from the Central Statistics Office, 69% of internet users are completing purchases online. People have become less interested in visiting a physical location of companies.
For the mortgage world, this means that a digital mortgage is ideal. Clients can access the application at any time from anywhere. They don’t have to drive to a physical office nor wait for working hours of operations like they would with a traditional mortgage. Therefore, the digital method takes the win here.
Adjustments to Unusual Circumstances
Occasionally, when someone applies for a mortgage, there can be unusual circumstances. A person may have a low credit score or high debt, which at times could be given an exception. However, this is only possible with human interaction.
The digital process makes it harder for these unusual cases to get approved for a mortgage. However, the traditional mortgage application allows for the clients to speak with someone about their case which is why the traditional method wins this category.
It is becoming more and more vital for humans to make environmentally friendly decisions and this can be related to mortgages as well. The traditional technique when applying for mortgages uses physical paper copies. With thousands of people applying everyday, this can create a lot of wasted paper. Contrastingly, using the digital application technique does not use paper at all. This is a more sustainable route which causes the digital technique to win.
Ultimately, because of the customer satisfaction in less wait time, more transparency, increased convenience, and environmentally friendly, I have to choose the digital mortgage application technique. If you are nervous about the potential risk of leaked information or are in an unusual circumstance, continuing with the traditional mortgage application route may be wise.