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The pros and cons of online mortgage approval

If you’re anything like us, you do everything online. From paying your cable bill, to securing a date for Friday night, to booking a mid-winter trip to a tropical island –  most daily tasks can be accomplished from the comfort of your laptop. Securing a mortgage for your new home should be no different, right?

Not so fast.

While the Internet is a savior for many things, signing up for a large amount of debt isn’t necessarily one of them. Despite the convenience of applying for a mortgage application online, avoiding the in-person visit to your lender’s office isn’t always the best choice. Here’s a quick list of pros and cons to help you make the best decision:

Avoiding the in-person visit to your lender’s office isn’t always the best choice.

Pros:

1.)  You can find the best rate. Online search tools allow you to do your research and compare your options before proceeding with your application.

2.)  You can submit your mortgage application any time from anywhere. This is ideal for hopeful homebuyers who travel frequently or have inflexible work schedules.

3.)  You can take the mortgage application process at your own pace. Many online applications will allow you to save your progress and return to your submission at a later time.

4.)  You may get approved even if you have less-than-stellar credit. Online lenders don’t necessarily use the same underwriting investors as big banks do.

Cons:

1.)  You’re susceptible to scams. The Internet can be a scary place, and submitting your personal and financial information to the World Wide Web is always a risk.

2.)  Interest rates for borrowers with poor credit are typically high. Just because you get approved for mortgage doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford a home.

3.)  There’s no personal level of service. Sure, you can talk to a robot through the website’s chat feature or try to get someone on the phone (good luck!), but it’s not the same as getting personal help with your mortgage application.

4.)  There’s no local branch you can visit if you have questions. Mortgage applications are complex and can easily be misunderstood. One wrong click and you could face high fees and have issues with your approval down the road.

Though applying for a mortgage while eating dinner and watching Modern Family sounds appealing, we recommend changing into some real pants and marching down to your bank to talk face-to-face with a lender. After considering both online lenders and local brokers, you’ll feel good about committing to one option or the other.

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Kate Kasbee
Kate Kasbee is a blogger and freelance copywriter living in Los Angeles. She has a background in real estate marketing and has also written about a variety of subjects including pet care, how to adopt a vegan diet, and technology. Prior to living in sunny California, Kate spent eight years in Chicago where she lived in nine different apartments in five different neighborhoods. Though she’s not quite done exploring, Kate dreams of planting her roots and owning a home with creaky floors and plenty of land for starting an organic farm.
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