Think of Charles Schwab and the first thing that comes to mind is investments, or perhaps retirement planning. But mortgages? That's precisely what the financial services company has been offering for about the past year. Last April, it launched the Charles Schwab Bank, which offers consumers an array of mortgage and home equity products. Schwab burst into the multitrillion-dollar mortgage market amidst the hottest housing boom on record. The company is using price guarantees on home loan packages as a way to distinguish itself from the rest of the mortgage lending pack. Along with Schwab's mortgage debut came three guarantees, including one that pays consumers $500 if the company can't beat another lender's overall mortgage price by $100. The other two guarantees promise a specific closing day and a same-day lending decision. The guarantees are getting consumers' attention. Most days, the bank gets at least a dozen calls from consumers interested in the best-price guarantee, sa...
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