Service and Reliability are key!
While the price (interest rate plus cost and fees) of a mortgage is still important to many consumers, what is becoming even more important is the service they receive from the loan officer of their choice.
Craig Martin, director of the mortgage practice at J.D. Power, said this year’s survey found that while lenders will have to remain competitive in terms of pricing to attract consumers, only four in 10 of those refinancing their loan cited price as the main reason they choose to work with a particular loan officer.
For home purchase borrowers, that was down to 30%. The study includes several questions about the mortgage shopping process.
When the study was conducted (2012) customer satisfaction with mortgage lenders has reached its highest level in the past six years. This increase in customer satisfaction is driven by steady improvements related to transparency and communication.
Among loan customers who refinanced in 2012, only 40 percent cite price as their main reason for selecting their lender.
Service and Reliability
J.D. Power and Associates offers the following tips for consumers when selecting and working with a mortgage broker to gain service and reliability:
- Research and understand the different types of loans available, and be sure to consider more than just the interest rate while shopping.
- Expect the mortgage origination process to take longer than it did a few years ago as a result of increased regulations, compliance and scrutiny.
- Some lenders offer special website access or mobile apps that enable you to keep up to date on the status of your application or manage your account. Ask your loan representative whether these options are available for your account.
- Make sure you fully understand the relationship you’ll have with the lender you select. The mortgage origination company with whom you apply for your loan may not be the same company that ultimately services your loan.
- Inform your loan representative how you prefer to be contacted–e.g., via email, phone or mobile.