Enterprise lending software startup Blend has just earned a major vote of confidence from mortgage securities giant Fannie Mae. Blend has been approved as a provider of asset verification for Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty program.
Day 1 Certainty lets consumers cut about a week from their mortgage approval process and apply for everything online. The San Francisco startup Blend powers easier-to-use, consumer-friendly software for mortgage lenders and collects data about the process.
“This is a really big step toward our vision of a digital mortgage and really a data-driven world,” Blend business development lead Brian Martin said in an interview with Inman. “Fannie Mae plays such an important part in the mortgage market that it’s great that together we’re able to drive this change, with us enabling the tech and the data and them accepting it.”
Specifically, Blend will be contributing to Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter, or DU, validation service–an online app that lets lenders see if their loan complies with Fannie Mae’s requirements. That step of the process confirms an applicant’s income, assets and employment. Loans underwritten through this system get relief from some reps and warrants.
Blend says it is the first end-to-end platform to serve as a validator at this stage.
Consumers who use Blend’s mortgage interfaces will now be eligible for Day 1 Certainty when they start applying for a home loan. Usually, consumers interested in the Day 1 Certainty program have to pursue it on their own.
“The borrower doesn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary other than go through the Blend experience and submit applications,” Martin said.
Fannie Mae is hoping adding Blend’s approach to mortgages to Day 1 Certainty will lead more consumers to adopt the program, Martin said.
Blend is a six-year-old startup co-founded by former software engineers at Palantir, the intelligence company launched by controversial Silicon Valley mega-investor Peter Thiel (whose Founders Fund has also funded Blend). Last August, it raised another $100 million in funding.