Fannie Mae: Borrowers seek more digital solutions for mortgage application process

People are interested in digital services to help streamline the mortgage application and approval process, according to a recent analysis by Fannie Mae. At the same time, they'd like to have human professionals help them out for some steps of securing a home loan.

Through its monthly National Housing Survey, Fannie Mae asked approximately 3,000 recent homebuyers about the mortgage process they went through and how it could be improved. Twenty-seven percent said the mortgage process could be made easier by cutting down on the paperwork, with repeat buyers and those over the age of 45 particularly frustrated by this part of the process.

Twenty percent said they wanted it to be easier to shop and compare terms from lenders. Sixteen percent wanted less back-and-forth during the process.

Most respondents said they would like to see the mortgage process completed within a month. Currently, the median length of the process is 35 days.

Two-thirds of respondents said they would be interested in a fully digital mortgage process. Younger and higher-income respondents were more likely to express interest in digitization.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they'd prefer to fill out a mortgage application online rather than in person, while 70 percent said they would prefer to submit mortgage documents online. Sixty-seven percent said they would like the option of getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage through digital channels.

However, a majority of respondents still preferred the "human touch" for some aspects of the mortgage process. Sixty-five percent said they would prefer that a person explain a mortgage's terms and options to them instead of finding this information online. Fifty-eight percent said they would want a person to help them review the final documents for a mortgage, while 56 percent said they would want a mortgage professional present for the signing of these documents.

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