Mortgage customers crave information. They will take it any way they can get it, whether it be through a computer or over the phone. And it is becoming more widely available these days from sources such as private lenders and community counseling groups.
Fannie Mae offers a free computer program to nonprofit community counseling groups that work with low-income and moderate-income households.
The software is part of "Showing America a New Way Home,"a pilot program the agency announced last October to help lenders and nonprofit counselors educate potential borrowers. Two other computer programs will be available in 1995 to help lenders with underwriting and origination to expand home ownership.
Fannie's Desktop Home Counselor helps community groups provide education, counseling, and early preparation to steer lower-income borrowers through the mortgage process. The software is now available at no cost for nonprofit groups and will be available for lenders later this year.
The software stores personal and financial information pertinent to a loan application, accesses the borrower's credit reports, and analyzes borrowing ability by running scenarios using that information.
In the private market, a Florida lender has also taken to the phone lines to assist potential customers in navigating through the mortgage process.
NBD Mortgage Co., Troy, Mich., introduced a free service offering information such as mortgage rates and how to determine the maximum price a buyer can afford. Callers can also get help with their mortgage application.
The hot line is open 24 hours a day and is available in NBD markets in Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio.