Unveils New Consumer Mortgage Tools

Consumer money resource foresees some loosening of mortgage standards in 2011; new site offers better access to Internet's most complete repository of personal finance information.

SAN MATEO, CALIF. — Feb. 08, 2011 — As the economy continues to show signs of improvement, consumer money resource looks ahead to what it believes will be an evolving mortgage market in 2011 with the potential for less restrictive credit criteria. To help consumers better navigate this changing mortgage market,, the Web’s most complete consumer money resource, today unveiled a number of new and upgraded home mortgage tools as part of a site-wide design and usability improvement.

"The new turns what is already the Web’s most complete consumer money resource into an even more powerful tool with intuitive, fingertip access to thousands of consumer questions and answers, expert money information, and new mortgage calculators," said Ethan Ewing, president of "These new tools are well timed to help consumers make sense of what will be a changing mortgage market in 2011, as rates creep up from record lows and lenders look to find new borrowers."

An Improving Mortgage Market

Along with the rebounding economy, expects mortgage rates to continue to increase throughout 2011. While this will build upon recent rises, overall rates should remain near historic lows. Consumers should remain vigilant as a one-percentage point increase in interest on a $150,000 home loan translates into approximately $1,600 in additional interest payments over the first year of the loan.

Despite these increased rates, the team expects 2011 to provide relief for some homeowners and prospective homebuyers in the mortgage market. This is largely due to an expected loosening of underwriting criteria as lenders look for new customers in certain niche categories. Specifically:

  • The team expects equity demands from lenders to hold steady at 80 percent loan to value as home values seek stability.
  • The severity of the price increase for average or good credit borrowers versus excellent credit borrowers should lessen.
  • Self-employed borrowers and homeowners with larger loan amounts may also find it easier to secure a loan.

New Mortgage Tools and Calculators

To help potential borrowers navigate this changing mortgage market, unveiled a new lineup of tools as part of its overall site improvements. They include:

  • Mortgage Affordability Calculator: This tool takes into account traditional home mortgage factors such as income, down payment, existing debt, and more to calculate how much a borrower can afford to spend on a new home. The end result from the calculator is an optimal price range.
  • Lender Review: A new community based tool that allows users to rate their lender experience. Lenders can range from national household brands to local loan specialists. provides an overview and review of all network member lenders, and consumers can join in the process with starred ratings and written reviews.
  • Live Mortgage Rates: An up-to-the-minute table of current loan rates for a range of loan types including fixed and variable rate loans. The table includes live rate feeds, APR, estimated closing costs, and expected monthly loan payments.
  • Mortgage Refinance Calculator: A powerful mortgage calculator that can evaluate up to 30 different combinations of factors to provide homeowners with a simple "yes or no" recommendation on whether to refinance their mortgage. This recommendation is based on each homeowner’s unique situation and goals, and does not require homeowners to know current loan rates or costs.
  • Mortgage Payment Calculator: This basic but useful tool helps users calculate their expected monthly payment for a specific loan. Using loan amount, term and rate, it can be used to help potential borrowers quickly compare loan offers by monthly payment amount.
  • Mortgage Quick Quote: Mortgage shoppers can use the Quick Quote to find lenders that can help their specific situation. Based on location, property type, loan type, and credit rating, the Quick Quote introduces mortgage shoppers to lenders who will further evaluate their situation and provide competitive offers on available mortgage loans. When combined with’s lender evaluations and recommendations, this is a powerful way to secure the best loan possible.

Improved Consumer Experience and Information Access

The new and improved Web site includes a number of design and usability upgrades that provide consumers with more powerful and intuitive ways to access the company’s vast storehouse of money information and advice. The most noticeable change is a new interface that better categorizes and highlights the information available on the site. In addition, relevant information, links and tools are offered alongside search terms and on every content page to give consumers easier in-roads to the site.

For example, a user visiting the top-level mortgage page will have instant access to all the related mortgage tools, mortgage articles, past consumer questions and answers on home loans, and reviews and recommendations on the best mortgage lenders. In addition, users can review a glossary of mortgage terms, sign up for a Quick Quote, and preview real time home loan quotes for their geographic area. All of this results in a better user experience and access to what is the Web’s most complete repository of money information and advice.

To learn more about the new or the company’s new mortgage tools please visit . To ask a direct question of a financial expert please click Ask Bill.