How AI is addressing lending speed and speed bumps - Blend

How AI is addressing lending speed and speed bumps

Recent articles from The Wall Street Journal and National Mortgage News highlight how consumers are pushing the digital mortgage forward.

The promise of the digital mortgage has always been clear: close loans faster, more simply, and with greater transparency. The reality, for many, has been doubt.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Micah Jindal, partner at Boston Consulting Group, said as much, pointing out that the mortgage industry was initially skeptical that consumers would ever go for an online mortgage, but that has changed. Today, according to Jindal, “All of the major players have a version of the same thing now.”

AI is a differentiator for mortgage

A “version of the same thing,” whether it’s an in-house solution or white label software, doesn’t mean all digital solutions are equal. In in their rush to adopt AI and streamline the lending process, some mortgage lenders are struggling to implement the technology. National Mortgage News highlights thoughts from Blend’s own Grace Qi. As a product manager working directly on implementing AI, Grace discussed the topic in depth at the Mortgage Bankers Association Technology Conference on March 26 in Dallas.

“While on one hand mortgage lenders are extracting rich, comprehensive data, many are then just converting the information into a PDF and shipping it off.” In that data, however, are opportunities to increase operational efficiency and enhance the consumer experience by learning from activity and then improving the process over time. Grace talks more about Blend and its approach to AI here.

National Mortgage News also offers a great formula for those hitting speed bumps on their quest to implement technology like machine learning to reduce friction in the process.

It’s about speed

Speed is also a sales tactic. The Wall Street Journal looks at how lenders are advertising speed in a highly competitive market where closing quickly can make all the difference.

In 2018, it took 43 days on average to close a loan, according to Ellie Mae. The digital mortgage is reducing that time significantly for some. Jindal, who recently wrote about Blend in a white paper, told The Wall Street Journal, “Many of Blend’s customers, even shortly after adoption, shaved between 2-10 days off closing times.”

Loans take time, mostly due to the need for consumers to upload or send documentation. AI that can automatically request common documents and systems that connect source verified data can reduce time to close and give lenders a chance to win more customers. That’s a win for consumers who are pushing for an easier, faster process. Both of these articles offer a fascinating look at what lenders are doing to deliver and how they’re vetting their options.

In other news, Blend earned a spot in the HousingWire Tech100 again. Get a sneak peek here.