The home mortgage is moving into the digital age and has been sped up as a result of coronavirus and many borrowers will benefit from this with easier and more convenient loans and more borrowing options.
Many lenders have responded to the social distancing rules required by COVID-19 by allowing the online verification of customers’ identities rather than requiring them to meet personally every time.
Lenders are also accepting e-signatures and doing online property valuations, which means a cheaper and faster process for the customer.
Vincent Turner, Founder at UNO Home Loans, says that taking away some of the manual steps for getting a home loan lets customers switch lenders more easily and will help ensure they always are on a great deal.
No need to visit a bank branch
UNO has been using digital IDs of customers for a long time, but when it came time to sign the loan, many lenders insisted the customer come into a branch for Verification of Identification, or VOI as it’s known.
The COVID-19 crisis has changed that, with more lenders accepting a digital ID provided by the client’s broker.
It’s a simple process (3 key steps) and is designed to ensure we protect your identity and avoid any risk of fraud:
- The client sends a photo or scan of their ID document like a passport or driver’s license to the broker.
- Next during a video call between the client and their broker on Skype, Zoom, Google Meets or any other meeting app, the broker saves a screenshot of the client holding up their photo ID to confirm they are who they say they are
- The final step is for the broker to confirm the ID document is genuine
At the same time more and more lenders are accepting the use of e-sign signatures on application forms and mortgage documents instead of paper signatures.
Taken together, these developments mean more and more property owners can complete their mortgage application and signing without having to leave home to visit a bank branch.
The age of the automated property valuation
Property valuations – which banks require before they will lend against a property – are also changing.
Lenders are using more automated valuations, where a computer algorithm assesses the value of a property, and more desktop valuations, where an analyst does an online valuation by using publicly-available information such as the size of a property and its location.
While lenders still require in-person valuations for some properties, the digital valuations are becoming more common and mean borrowers don’t have to go to the trouble of coordinating times with the valuer and letting them into the property.
Easier switching for a better loan deal
For Vincent Turner, making home loans easier and more convenient is a key part of UNO’s offering, because it removes barriers to switching lenders and negotiating a better loan deal.
Getting the great deal isn’t just about the start of a mortgage, it’s also about making sure you have a great deal throughout the life of your loan, and that’s why borrowers need to have the option of easily switching lenders, Vincent says.
Digital tools to calculate the real cost of home ownership
Having digital tools at your fingertips like online mortgage calculators and home loan health check tools is something that we have been pioneering since we started 4 years ago.
If you’re already a homeowner you might be interested in one of our most regularly used tools is loanScore. It’s an online tool, completely free – and once you’ve signed up it regularly alerts you when you could be saving money by refinancing or changing lenders.
We also have a number of online calculators like our How Much Can I Borrow?, Calculating Stamp Duty and Home Loan Repayments Calculator ensure that you are well informed before you start the home loan process.
We also have online tools such as our Mortgage Holiday Calculator or our Newsroom that offers loads of helpful information, tips and advice online.
Wherever you are in your journey, we encourage you to seek out all the great digital tools and resources out there at your fingertips so you can be informed, take action quickly and easily.