Where Should Mortgage Lenders Invest to Improve Their Borrower Experience?


Where Should Mortgage Lenders Invest to Improve Their Borrower Experience?

April 12, 2023
Certified Credit

As a mortgage lender, satisfying your borrowers can lower your customer acquisition costs, boost your reputation and revenues, and increase your referrals. You can cultivate a happy, loyal customer base by prioritizing clear communication and exceeding borrowers’ expectations.

On the flip side, unsatisfied borrowers can harm your reputation and retention rate. Negative feedback and reviews can spread fast, making it that much harder to attract new business and retain existing borrowers.

So, how can you satisfy your borrowers reliably? In this article, we’ll examine four ways to enhance your borrower experience. We’ll also highlight the most worthwhile tools to invest in this year to assist with the process.

#1 Educate Your Borrowers

The first step towards satisfying your borrowers is putting yourself in their shoes. Many borrowers are anxious about their mortgage eligibility, filling out applications, and making such a monumental financial decision. In fact, 44% of first-time homebuyers report feeling nervous throughout the entire home-buying process.[i]

One way to ease these borrowers’ anxieties and earn their goodwill is to educate them on important topics, such as the:

    • Current housing market
    • Mortgage credit score requirements
    • Mortgage loan programs
    • Home-buying expenses
    • Down payment assistance programs
    • Lending and underwriting protocols

At Certified Credit, we’ve put together a comprehensive First-Time Homebuyer Guide that goes into detail on each of these subjects. Feel free to share this educational resource with your borrowers.

Education as a Marketing Strategy

Your borrower education efforts can also double as marketing. Simply post your educational materials on your business’ blog, Youtube channel, or social media accounts. Not only can this type of content keep you top-of-mind with your online network, but it can also help you attract the attention of aspiring homeowners who are actively searching for home-buying information online.

Some topics you can use to kickstart your content marketing campaign include:

    • The best time to apply for a mortgage, refinancing, or secondary mortgage solutions
    • The documents borrowers need to have on hand before they apply
    • The amount of time it takes to get approved for a mortgage after submitting an application

Make sure to feature your contact information prominently in this educational content. This way, prospective borrowers who stumble across your content can reach out to you for more information.

Personalize Your Educational Offerings

A lot of your educational content can be posted for a general audience. However, you may also want to provide borrowers with some more personalized support.

You can give your borrowers one-on-one credit education with the help of our credit score improvement tools:

    • Wayfinder® – Wayfinder analyzes your borrowers’ credit reports for areas of improvement. After that, it generates customized improvement plans they can follow. With a clear plan in place, your borrowers can take the right steps to raise their credit scores and become mortgage-ready sooner than later.
    • Credit Assure® – Credit Assure is another valuable credit score improvement tool. Like Wayfinder, It can uncover areas for credit score improvement. By passing on this information to your borrowers, you can empower them to increase their scores as efficiently as possible.
    • What-If Simulator® – Oftentimes, borrowers wonder what steps will make the biggest impact on their credit scores. Our What-If Simulator can deliver these answers. For example, it can predict the credit score boost a borrower will receive from paying off a late payment or reducing their debt balances. These customized credit score forecasts can give your borrowers the clarity they need to become mortgage ready within a certain time frame.

As you can see, these tools can help you go above and beyond for your borrowers, making a stellar first impression and giving them invaluable credit management education along the way.

#2 Nurture Ongoing Relationships With Past and Present Borrowers

Once you’ve established positive relationships with new borrowers, you want to inspire their long-term loyalty. An effective way to earn repeat business is by reaching out to your past and present borrowers at strategic times.

Most notably, you want to be on their minds when they’re actively seeking new mortgages, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and other secondary mortgage products. So, how can you determine when this is taking place? You simply need to employ Cascade Alerts.

What is Cascade Alerts?

Cascade Alerts is an automated credit monitoring solution that keeps tabs on your borrowers’ credit reports so you can make relevant, timely, personalized product offers. It searches for mortgage-related inquiries that may suggest a borrower is shopping around for a new mortgage.

To use Cascade Alerts, you just need to upload your database of past and present clients and let it work its magic. Cascade Alerts processes its data daily, so you can receive mortgage-related activity alerts every 24 hours via SMS or Email. Cascade Alerts’ intel is packaged into convenient lead lists that only include applicants who meet your current qualifications. You can set your credit score minimums and GSE pass/fail requirements ahead of time.

Each day, lenders will receive the list of qualified shoppers and managers will receive a summary of activity – so everyone is in the loop! Best of all, if a lender is out of the office or overloaded, you  can forward your qualified lead lists to other loan officers at your company to ensure that every lead is contacted in a timely manner.

Cascade Alerts can integrate with your LOS/POS, CRM, or servicing platform, making it easy to track leads’ statuses within your sales pipeline. This integration ensures that you can reference past borrowers’ information on the fly to ensure they feel valued and remembered during your conversations. Cascade Alerts can also integrate with Velocity, enabling you to streamline your lead management, enjoy actionable customer insights, and track your borrower behavior from one place.

#3 Shorten The Application Process

Today’s borrowers expect fast service, instant responses, and short closing times.[ii] While your speed of service is important, you still want to maintain high loan quality and customer service standards. Luckily, achieving both of these aims is easy when you have the right tech infrastructure in place.

Some tools that can help you shorten your application processing times are as follows:

    • Cascade Verification of Income and Employment (VOE)Cascade VOE is an automated solution that can speed up your verification process. It allows you to create a customized cascade of third-party and consumer-permissioned vendors. You can arrange these vendors in your cascade strategically to enjoy the most cost savings.When you need to verify an applicant’s income or employment, simply select the required report and let Cascade VOE cycle through each vendor within your cascade until it returns a hit. You’ll be alerted as soon as the process is complete.Compared to manual VOE, Cascade VOE gets the job done much faster. It can take as little as a few minutes to receive a hit. In contrast, manual VOE takes an average of three days. You can reinvest all the time you spent manually verifying applicants’ information on more valuable activities, such as making a positive impression on borrowers during in-person meetings and networking with fellow mortgage professionals.
    • Smart Select – Determining which applicants meet your qualifications is another time-consuming process that can be expedited with technology. With our Smart Select Credit Report, you can evaluate applicants’ creditworthiness quickly and affordably.

           All you have to do is:

      • Set your eligibility criteria – Smart Select allows you to determine your qualifying criteria for applicants’ credit scores, zip codes, and status regarding bankruptcies, foreclosures, defaults, and delinquencies.
      • Customize your credit bureau orders – Next, you can set custom parameters to pull either one or two credit bureau reports and see if an applicant meets your eligibility thresholds. If they do, Smart Select will automatically upgrade your order to include a three-bureau report. If the applicant doesn’t qualify with you, you can skip that step and save your money or return to it at a later time.

By using Smart Select, you can qualify applicants faster and avoid spending money on the ones who don’t meet your criteria.

    • Electronic Signatures – Electronic signatures are a simple technology that can speed up the mortgage lending process significantly and make it easier for your borrower to complete the mortgage lending process on their schedule, from anywhere. Although electronic signatures are not new, the mortgage industry has been reluctant to embrace them due to the perception that they left the door open for fraud and strict regulation.Today there are many tools that help lenders embrace e-signature and streamline the digital mortgage origination process, including our  SSA-89 electronic signature solution. This easy-to-implement feature allows your applicants to sign their mortgage paperwork electronically, eliminating the need to print, sign, and scan large stacks of documents. This significantly reduces the amount of time required to collect forms and navigate the mortgage origination process, creating a better experience for you and your borrower.

These are just a couple of time-saving solutions that can speed up your application process. We offer many more at Certified Credit.

#4 Provide Fast Online Prequalification

Lastly, you can satisfy your borrowers by offering an online prequalification application with instant responses. Borrowers enjoy applying for prequalification because:

    • The application process is quick and easy
    • It allows them to see if they meet lenders’ basic eligibility requirements
    • It gives them an idea of the interest rate and loan term they can qualify for
    • It enables them to base their housing budget around their quoted loan size
    • Unlike preapproval, it won’t negatively affect their credit score

You can offer fast prequalification using Cascade Prequal, our automated prequalification solution. This tool allows you to customize your credit thresholds and decide if you want to use one, two, or three-bureau soft pull reports. After inputting your preferences, your work is done. Cascade Prequal will prequalify your applicants within minutes of their application submissions.

Offering prequalification on your website is an easy way to transform more aspiring homebuyers into leads. Applicants who prequalify with you can be moved on to the next step within your sales pipeline, while those that don’t can be nurtured into loyal customers using the credit score improvement tools we discussed above.

Enhance Your Borrower Experience With Certified Credit

In summary, you can put your best foot forward with borrowers by focusing on borrower education, strategic lead nurturing, service speed, and prequalification. The tech stack investments you make to achieve these aims will yield notable improvements to your borrower experience.

If you want to learn which tech tools are best suited to your workflows, reach out to Certified Credit today. Our workflow optimization experts can match you with the best products and services for your needs. In addition to the tools we discussed above, we also offer:

Are you ready to transform your borrower experience using technology? Schedule a credit consultation with the Certified Credit team today.

How Can You Qualify More Borrowers in Today’s Market? 

The secret lies in discovering effective strategies that not only increase your pool of qualified borrowers but also reduce origination costs. Check out our “Unlocking New Opportunities:
Your Guide to Qualifying More Borrowers in Today’s Mortgage Market” to learn how you can integrate innovative approaches to streamline the qualification process, empower borrowers with a deep understanding of their credit and financial standing, and enhance your qualification workflow for improved operational efficiency and cost savings.


[i] Homes.com. How Much Stress Does Homebuying Really Cause a First-Time Homebuyer?


[ii] McKinsey & Company. Competing on customer experience in US mortgage.