Mortgage borrowers who don’t use online tools to comparison shop may be losing out

Wealthy are more likely to do own calculations, select most competitive offer

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Consumers who don't use online technology to shop for mortgage rates or look for a lender or real estate agent may be selling themselves short, with lower-income borrowers particularly at risk, according to Fannie Mae economists. Findings from a recent study suggest that online tools that improve borrowers' understanding of mortgage terms and costs and allow borrowers to simultaneously compare loan terms from multiple lenders lead to better outcomes, including lower costs, fewer surprises at the closing table, and higher long-term satisfaction with choices, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group said. The study found significant differences between how lower- and higher-income borrowers shop for a mortgage. The group defined lower-income borrowers as those with family incomes of less than $50,000 and higher-income borrowers as those with family incomes of more than $100,000. Higher-income mortgage borrowers were more likely to: Select a lender based on o...