The quality of your mortgage lending operations directly impacts the profitability and success of your business.
When your mortgage lending operations are efficient and cost-effective, you can enjoy a better bottom line, enhanced customer experiences, and retention, improved loan quality, and scale up your business with ease. On the other hand, when your business operations need improvement, your business can’t perform to its full potential, leading to increased processing time, potential challenges at closing, and longer origination cycles.
So, how can you optimize your mortgage lending operations? Below, we’ll offer four effective strategies.
#1 Automate Prequalification
Automation is a powerful tool that can improve many aspects of your business operations. One area where automation is especially useful is prequalification.
Inviting potential customers to prequalify is a useful marketing strategy. Not only does it allow you to get potential borrowers into your sales pipeline earlier in the homebuying process, but it helps shield borrowers from the impact of hard inquiries so your competitors will not know they are in the market. Once applicants enter your sales pipeline, you can nurture them along their journey by offering them support and education. If you impress those applicants early on in their mortgage search, you may be more likely to secure their business when they’re ready to formally apply.
Unfortunately, prequalification can place a burden on your business operations if you have to do it manually. That’s where Cascade Prequal can make all of the difference.
What is Cascade Prequal?
Cascade is a class of workflow automation solutions offered by Certified Credit. Cascade Prequal automates the prequalification process for you.
With Cascade Prequal, you can invite potential customers to apply by adding a link to your website or embedding the prequalification engine directly into your website. After that, interested applicants can submit their information. Cascade Prequal will automate the following steps:
- Applicants’ prequalification credit reports will be pulled (choosing a one, two, or all three bureaus soft pull based on your credit thresholds)
- Compliance with FCRA regulations ensuring necessary permissions are obtained
- Prequalification offers will be generated (which you can edit within the Cascade Prequal portal)
- New applicants will enter your sales pipeline
Just like that, you can use prequalification to generate new mortgage leads and offer them valuable insight into their current creditworthiness.
#2 Minimize Manual Monitoring
Credit monitoring is a crucial part of mortgage lending. It can help you:
- Identify opportunities for repeat business
- Increase your customer retention rate
- Find out if new applicants have taken on undisclosed debt
- Prevent costly fallouts before closing
Luckily, you don’t have to monitor all of your customers’ credit reports on your own. Cascade Alerts and Cascade Undisclosed Debt Monitoring (UDM) can help.
What is Cascade Alerts?
In the mortgage industry, generating new leads is a ceaseless endeavor. While you can use advertising and marketing to attract new applicants, Cascade Alerts can help you extract valuable repeat business from the customers you’ve already worked so hard to obtain.
Cascade Alerts monitors your past and current customers’ credit reports for mortgage-related inquiries. You can find out when customers are seeking a new mortgage in as little as 24 hours. In turn, Cascade alerts allows you to:
- Reach out to leads promptly
- Increase your chances of securing their business before the competition
- Improve your customer retention
Cascade Alerts also allows you to customize your lead qualification filters, so you only receive alerts for borrowers who meet certain credit thresholds. In turn, you can skip the hassle of qualifying them manually.
Finally, Cascade Alerts makes it easy to forward leads to other team members within your business, ensuring that no lead gets left behind.
What is Cascade UDM?
Despite your warnings, between initial application and closing, some of your mortgage applicants may take on additional debt. If you don’t know about this debt, you could face unexpected fallouts at the latest stages of your loan origination process.
You can save yourself this trouble and expense by continuously monitoring your applicants’ credit activity. Doing so is easy with Cascade Undisclosed Debt Monitoring (UDM).
Cascade UDM automates the credit monitoring process for you. While Cascade UDM is hard at work, you can sit back and relax, knowing you’ll receive immediate alerts if your applicants incur:
- New tradelines
- New credit inquiries
- Late payments
- Debt-to-income fluctuations
- Payment increases
- Collection items
- And more.
These alerts can be sent via email or through your loan origination system (LOS), so you always know when activity has happened. An additional daily report of all activity can also be generated and shared with the loan officer, office management, underwriters, or anyone else involved in your origination process. By automating your credit monitoring, you can focus your attention elsewhere and trust that your risk management is being taken care of behind the scenes.
#3 Simplify Verification of Employment & Income (VOE)
VOE is a necessary step in the loan origination process. Verifying your applicant’s income and employment information can help you mitigate your risk of mortgage fraud. However, manual VOE is notoriously tedious and time-consuming.
You can streamline VOE with Cascade VOE. Using multi-level vendor ordering and a rules-based engine, Cascade VOE automates the entire VOE process. In turn, it eliminates the disruptions and delays that are so commonly seen with manual VOE. Cascade VOE can collect data from many of the mortgage industry’s leading databases, such as Work Number and Experian Verify.
All you have to do is customize your vendor ordering preferences, select the required VOE report, and let Cascade VOE take care of the rest. You can monitor the progress of verifications from your LOS system or receive hit notifications via text/SMS or email.
#4 Enhance Your Borrower’s Experience
By automating key workflows within your mortgage lending business, you can turn your attention to what matters most—cultivating positive relationships with your customers.
First-time homebuyers say that exceptional customer service is the most important quality they look for in a lender.1 By improving your customer service, you can increase your chances of winning over new applicants and earning referrals from past customers.
One powerful way you can offer outstanding customer service is by educating applicants on ways to improve their credit scores. Here at Certified Credit, we offer many helpful credit score improvement tools, including:
- CreditXpert® Wayfinder – Some applicants need to raise their credit scores before they can qualify for a mortgage. CreditXpert Wayfinder can help you generate customized suggestions for these applicants. By sharing these personalized credit improvement tips, you can win over these applicants’ loyalty and future business.
- CreditXpert® What-If Simulator – Another helpful tool is the CreditXpert What-If Simulator. It lets you forecast how specific credit changes will impact an applicant’s credit score down the line. By showing applicants how their hard work will pay off, they may be more motivated to make the necessary changes to their credit management.
- Credit Assure® – Credit Assure can help you proactively and automatically identify specific areas of improvement for your applicants’ credit when you first order their report. By sharing these insights with them, you can help them increase their credit scores before applying for their mortgages. In turn, they may be more likely to choose you as their lender.
- Rapid Rescore – Mortgage applicants want to apply with the best credit score possible. Sometimes, positive changes in their credit activity are too recent to show up on a standard credit report. That’s where Rapid Rescore can help. This tool enables you to recalculate mortgage applicants’ credit scores on the spot. In turn, you can offer applicants superior terms and swoop their business away from the competition.
As you can see, helping motivated mortgage applicants achieve the credit scores they need to buy the home of their dreams can help you earn their customer loyalty along the way.
Upgrade Your Mortgage Lending Operations With Certified Credit
Implementing these operational improvement tips can give you the competitive advantage you need to succeed in the mortgage industry.
Are you ready to optimize your operations? If so, reach out to our team at Certified Credit. Our Cascade products can easily integrate with your existing workflows and take your business operations to the next level. We also offer a host of other mortgage lending solutions, such as:
- Mortgage credit reports
- Third-party verifications
- Fraud and risk support
- Settlement services
- Credit report tools
- Money-saving strategies
Discover how partnering with Certified Credit can improve your mortgage lending business today.
McKinsey & Company. Competing on customer experience in US mortgage.