Honestly, we think that Home Account is just about the coolest new tool that we have seen to help people apply, compare rates, get quotes and actually lock a low mortgage rate online... and all for FREE!
We reviewed Home Account recently, which presented at Finovate and has been positively reviewed by everyone from The New York Times and Forbes to mortgage experts and the Mortgage Professor himself (an industry guru).
What Home Account does
1. First of all, Home Account has an easy online process that lets you pull your credit report for free (and presents it to you in a cool format).
2. Shows you your credit score online.
3. Pulls an automated valuation of your home that is highly accurate, allowing an estimate of your loan-to-value (LTV is a core calculation in getting a mortgage).
4. Calculates your debt to income (again, DTI is another core mortgage calculation).
5. Gives you a Mortgage Grade — a proprietary rating system to predict how likely you are to get the best mortgage rates (they also give tips on how to improve).
6. Shows you actual rates for real mortgage loans that are available to you... not market rates, but REAL loans that you can rate lock right there.
7. Home Account also compares the True Cost of each loan option, including fees, rates and all costs — this lets you make an informed decision on the best mortgage for you.
8. Lastly, you can select a loan and actually rate lock that loan, which the lender has to abide by and cannot bait-and-switch you (a common mortgage practice).
In theory, this lets you apply online, get the best rates and lock in a low rate. Home Account really has wowed us on the transparency that they've brought to the mortgage business and the level of empowerment that is provided to consumers and home owners. Very innovative!
What you have to do
1. While we think that Bills.com has some of the best tools for applying for free mortgage quotes, it really is a good idea to go to Home Account and see what rate you'd get.
2. You have to spend about 10 minutes applying online.
3. You have submit your social security number and your personal info (don't worry, it is on a secure connection and is all kept private).
4. You must qualify, which means your Mortgage Grade is solid and your loan to value, credit and debt to income are all inline to be approved for a loan.
5. You get to pick the right rate, loan terms, and even lock your rate online.
This is really the first time that you don't get cold-called and lenders sell to you. The process of applying and making lenders contact you and compete for your loan is a great way to get a loan and to make loan officers compete for you if you can manage it and if you have the time and inclination. But for many consumers, Home Account is pretty sweet to just get that low rate right there online very quickly and without the hassle. There is also a rumor that lenders offer lower rates within the Home Account system.
Keith Luedeman, the chief executive of Goodmortgage.com in Charlotte, N.C., and one of 18 participating lenders, says the terms he offers are lower than those he would offer on other multilender mortgage sites. Luedeman said that their application process increases the chances that he will close a loan with a borrower. Also, he said, the site charges him less than other Web sites for delivering to him each prospective borrower. Marketing costs drop as a result, allowing him to make cheaper loans, he said.
Check it out and let us know what you think. If you want to apply with Bills.com approved lenders, you can always apply at the Bills.com mortgage refinance savings center
I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.
PS. Since you asked not just about Home Account, but also about applying online for a mortgage, I've attached a handy link with valuable information that we provided another consumer on how to get approved for a mortgage loan. Please go to Refinance Rates to read my answer to a fellow reader about mortgage rates.
PPS. Here is an overview from The New York Times entitled A New Take on Refinancing, which discusses Home Account and its unique services.