Online Mortgage Application Becoming Less Of A Novelty

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Applying online for a mortgage is finally becoming less of a novelty and more of a standard practice, according to one new survey.

The survey, conducted by Synergistics Research Corp. in October of 2005 with 1,000 consumers age 18 or older across all income groups, asked homeowners who have a first mortgage if they did any of a number of activities online the last time they applied for a mortgage. Overall, seven in 10 identified doing at least one online activity, with about half saying they had researched interest rates online and used calculators and websites to determine monthly payments.

Somewhat more than four in ten compared rates and terms among different institutions, Synergistics reported. One-fourth read information at personal finance or general news websites about the process of applying for a mortgage. One in seven indicated that they actually applied online, with the incidence of having applied online for a home mortgage increasing to one-quarter of mortgage holders with home values of $500,000 or more.

"Those mortgage lenders who do not handle mortgage applications online by this time may be finding themselves in a position of having to play 'catch up' from which it may be difficult to recover," said William H. McCracken, CEO of Synergistics. "Online information gathering and research is all but a given among Internet-active households. Applying online has already occurred to a significant extent and may well become more prevalent, appealing to certain segments who do not require face-to-face interaction for obtaining a mortgage."

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