From our homes and cars to our schools and offices, it’s difficult to think of an area of our lives that technology has not affected in some way. The mortgage business is no exception. From start to finish, new technologies are now available that are changing every phase of the mortgage loan process for everyone involved.
Sometimes the effects of new technologies are negative. But for the loan application process, innovations are a welcome change with a host of benefits for a variety of people, including lenders, real estate agents, sellers, buyers and anyone else who is directly or indirectly linked to a particular mortgage transaction.
It’s no secret that most people dread the loan process. From application to approval to closing, acquiring a loan is associated with gathering and providing years of financial background information, filling out stacks of paperwork, signing countless documents, and waiting weeks or months for decisions and agreements to be completed. I’m certain that the process itself has deterred many people from buying a home or refinancing a mortgage, even if doing so made sense financially.
For those of you who still think of the loan process as a tedious, labor-intensive hassle, you should know that technology has greatly simplified and streamlined the process, making it easier and far more efficient than before. With the right tools, loan process cycle times (from application to closing) can be reduced to as little as 10 days. Plus, digital tools enable constant, real-time communications that result in a reduction of misunderstandings and errors.
One of the innovations that substantially improved loan processing has been around for a few years but is still a major reason why loans are much easier to process today. I’m talking about e-signatures. Once e-signatures became a legal method for signing documents, it was no longer necessary for anyone to travel any distance to provide a signature or to use snail mail to send physical documents back and forth. Now, electronic documents can be signed and submitted anywhere and anytime from any device with an Internet connection. E-signatures immediately sped up every aspect of loan processing including the automatic creation of an electronic archive of all signed documents.
Whether you’re applying for a loan at a desktop computer in your home or office, signing a loan doc while sitting by the pool with your laptop, or snapping photos on a house hunting excursion with your smartphone, digital technology, in general, is what makes today’s advanced loan processing possible. However, for the sake of brevity, I’m going to narrow the topic to focus on smartphones since they represent the most versatile and mobile of all the digital devices. From phone calls and document sharing to appraisal photos and e-signatures, you can manage and complete the entire loan process with your smartphone.
In fact, with the help of a developer, I now have my own smartphone app that serves as a complete loan processing management system. This incredible app connects everyone involved in the loan process allowing for total communication between borrowers, lenders and agents. By simply installing the app on their smartphones, everyone involved in a loan has complete transparency throughout the process. At any time, anyone involved can check the current status of the loan.
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