The Gay Financial Network has teamed up with Cendant Mortgage to create gfnmortgage.com, an on-line mortgage brokerage for the gay and lesbian communities.
The New York-based network, which runs the Web site gfn.com, was founded in April 1998 by Walter B. Schubert Jr. as an on-line resource for financial and business news, information, and other services of special interest to the gay and lesbian communities.
"Our goal is to have a full-service financial community, which includes all financial products," said Jeffrey L. Newman, president of the network. "This is the next step in fulfilling that commitment.
"It is not always the easiest thing for a gay couple to get a mortgage since they are not legally married and do not receive the same benefits."
The network had a smaller marketing relationship with GMAC Mortgage, but the link was never a full-fledged network, according to Mr. Newman, because Gay Financial Network members could not use it to apply for a GMAC mortgage. This relationship ended when the network launched the Cendant portal on Feb. 14.
Gfnmortgage.com can be entered through a Cendant-operated portal on the Gay Financial Network's main Web site, gfn.com. There, customers can prequalify, apply for, or refinance a mortgage through Cendant Mortgage's InstaMortgage.com network.
The site uses the Gay Financial Network name and Cendant Mortgage's guarantee. Robert Andwood, a senior vice president at Cendant Mortgage, said he guarantees that the closing rate will "beat any competitor's rate or we will apply $250 toward the loan."
Cendant Mortgage, a New York subsidiary of Cendant Corp., does business with several consumer brands and affinity organizations throughout the country.
Mr. Newman said that a deciding factor in picking a branding partner was to ensure that there was no "gay tax" associated with mortgage borrowing. "Many companies offer services but at a higher price," he said. "We wanted a competitive product with competitive rates and prices."
Gfn.com is a free site, and it operates its financial services through memberships, which total 100,000, according to Mr. Newman. It is beginning a national ad campaign in mainstream media and expects to announce similar alliances with annuity sellers, credit card issuers, and insurance providers.