Stanford Federal Credit Union has put mortgage lending in cyberspace.
Earlier this month, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based institution added a home-lending application called "Mortgage Mart" to its site on the Internet's World Wide Web.
With the web site, Stanford Federal members can take a tutorial in applying for a mortgage; find different rates; and apply for a mortgage.
"More and more people are going on-line," said Stanford Federal chief executive Warren E. Marshall. "Someone can call this up on a Saturday or Sunday after they've looked at a house, fill out the application, and get an answer whether they qualify 24 hours later."
Stanford Federal, with $160 million in assets, has been on the "net" since last year. Most of its 30,000 members - students, staff, and faculty of Stanford University - have Internet accounts. Members can check account histories and perform other transactions on-line.
The mortgage application seemed a logical progression, Mr. Marshall said. "We were looking for an application that would generate a lot of interest on the World Wide Web, and we think this is it," he said.
Stanford Federal spent about $30,000 to develop "Mortgage Mart" in- house, Mr. Marshall said. The credit union is contemplating whether to market it. "Other institutions have shown an interest in using this application," Mr. Marshall said. "I don't think there are any lenders doing anything like this."
The new service also ties into a planned push into mortgage lending. The credit union currently has about $50 million in real-estate loans, including $15 million in long-term leases for houses on university property.
Stanford Federal also said it plans to change its practice of giving up the servicing of mortgages it sells to the secondary market.
"In five years, our business plan calls for servicing $1 billion in real-estate loans," he said.