Customer Stories: Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate’s behind-the-scenes tech means better service, lower costs
At Guaranteed Rate, the heart of what we do is to make the mortgage process easier for homeowners, whether they’re purchasing or refinancing. We’ve been helping borrowers get the right mortgage for their needs since 2000, and we’re now the second-largest retail lender in the U.S.
A better lending experience
The mortgage approval process has come a long way since then. Customers used to have to dig up paystubs and bank statements and hand them off to loan officers, who then manually uploaded everything. When a borrower sent an incomplete document or a processor made an error in data transposition, it could delay the loan approval process by days, even weeks.
Today, our customers can go online and use an app to permission their financial accounts so that we can quickly and accurately verify assets, income and employment. If everything checks out, we can give the borrower a quick thumbs-up to let them know we have all the data we need. This gives peace of mind to the borrower and provides a better client experience. It also enables our loan officers to scale the number of loans they process. Verifying income, assets and employment digitally can cut at least eight days off the processing and underwriting process, getting loans to the finish line more quickly.
Committed to the digital future
Two years ago, we knew we wanted to move in a digital-first direction. Data quality, speed and security were all important factors. The mortgage industry sets a high bar for financial data that’s used to underwrite a loan, so we needed a digital provider with rigorous standards. Knowing that Finicity’s open banking platform (now wholly owned by Mastercard), leads the industry with most of their traffic coming through direct data connections, we turned to them for next-gen solutions. With their help, we transitioned to a digital asset verification process, integrating it into our underwriting technology system.
But getting to this point was not a completely smooth ride. Transitioning loan officers to a digital process was a challenge, even though it added efficiency to their workflows and scaled up their pipelines. The legacy methods of verifying a borrower’s assets, income and employment are on their way out, but they’re still hanging on. Paper documents, phone calls, emails, structured data files and legacy digital technologies have their place, but the most efficient and secure way to verify borrower information is through direct data connections.
Once a borrower has given their permission, the bank provides a token that can be used to access the borrower’s financial data directly. That means credentials are not stored, making the process more secure while enabling direct access to checking and saving account data. We can also refresh that data as needed, without having to go back and ask for renewed permission or track down more documents.
Once we had asset verification in place, we launched verification of income and employment within our platform. With the borrower’s permission, Mastercard’s open banking services provide direct connections to payroll and transaction data to quickly verify income and employment. Mastercard’s connections offer us greater accuracy and less risk because we’re getting the data from the source in real time.
The path forward
We look forward to working with Mastercard to build out new and innovative solutions to benefit even more borrowers. Open banking and direct data connections enable innovations that just weren’t possible with legacy technologies. Our commitment to the digital-first approach is opening up speed, convenience, security and lending options that will continue to evolve and improve in the future.
“Through the simplification of the borrower experience, Mastercard is helping us bring in additional business and to convert more customers—while maintaining the efficiency and scalability to serve these customers.” – Brad Lando, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Guaranteed Rate
More than 50% of borrowers will choose digital verification, freeing up loan officers to focus on more complicated cases.
Breadth of Connectivity
Mastercard is an industry leader in driving borrowers to authorize direct data connections through its ever-growing network of financial institutions, large and small.
Getting data directly from the source is faster and safer than relying on paper trails, which can be altered.
Certain open banking solutions are provided by Finicity, a Mastercard company.