More people get mortgages online, but they’re increasingly dissatisfied

by Alison McAvoy

More and more customers may be heading online to purchase mortgages, but overall satisfaction with electronic mortgage processes is majorly declining, according to J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.

According to the study, individuals find online mortgage purchasing procedures slow and tedious, with overall satisfaction falling 8 points in 2017. The average time for starting and completing mortgage applications has risen to 36 days, a significant increase from last year.

Even so, the number of people who use online methods for acquiring mortgages has increased since 2016. Forty-three percent of customers applied for mortgages digitally in 2017, up 26 percent from last year. Still, however, the study reports overall satisfaction for these mortgage acquisition methods has fallen 18 points on a year-over-year basis.

“A critical element of satisfaction is setting expectations, and this tends to be a weakness of technology,” said Craig Martin, director of J.D. Power’s mortgage practice. Instead, customers prefer face-to-face interactions with loan representatives who verbally assist their clients and offer updates on the status of their loans.

Among the study’s key findings in customer perception on electronic mortgage purchase processes is a lack of trust, which many customers did not claim to feel through a computer screen. Overall satisfaction is “substantially lower among customers who do not work with a human to complete their application,” according to Martin.