Consumers say the Internet is a great tool for comparing mortgages and home-equity loans offered by different lenders, but rate it as less effective than the telephone or in-person meetings for obtaining information tailored to their specific situation or needs. Loan originators who want to get more consumers to fill out applications online should make their Web sites more user-friendly, offer customized advice online, and better integrate online and offline channels so consumers can switch to the phone or online chat when questions pop up. Those are among the findings of a Deloitte Consulting LLP report, "The Silver Lining in Lending: Turning Doubters into Online Believers." The report differentiates between online "believers" -- those who think the Internet makes the loan application process faster and more convenient -- and "doubters," who want more customized advice and find Web sites difficult to use. Because lenders may be able to cu...
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