From the beginning, the basic promise of multi-lender, Internet-based sites was that they would provide one-stop shopping. With my colleague Jack Pritchard, I recently examined 13 major mortgage websites to see how well this promise has been fulfilled.

We found that many sites are less than forthcoming, and even misleading, just like the humans they are supposed to replace. This doesn’t mean you should avoid mortgage websites — they remain the best game in town. But great care is required in selecting the site on which to shop.

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