About Guaranteed Rate
Since its founding in 2000, Guaranteed Rate® has aimed to put customer needs at the center of the mortgage process. By focusing on simplifying the process, developing new technologies, and capitalizing on innovation, the company has grown into a top-10 mortgage lender by volume with more than 4,000 employees in nearly 300 offices across the United States.
As a lender at the forefront of industry innovation, Guaranteed Rate® is always reviewing its loan process with an eye toward making the borrower experience better through technology and continual process improvement.
In 2017, SVP of Strategic Development Brad Lando saw an opportunity to improve one of the most frustrating — and important — parts of the loan process: asset verification. Asset verification is the process by which loan teams confirm that a borrower has the assets required to pay a loan’s closing costs and ongoing monthly mortgage payments.
“Documenting assets is among the biggest headaches that our loan officers face. There are strict requirements around what’s required for underwriting, and the back and forth with the borrower to get exactly what we need has proven frustrating for borrowers and teams alike,” says Brad Lando, SVP of Strategic Development for Guaranteed Rate.
Up to that point, borrowers would usually verify assets by emailing their bank statements to a loan processor or uploading them to a loan application portal — and the process wasn’t always smooth. The Guaranteed Rate team was spending a lot of time communicating with the borrower to resolve missing attachments, missing bank statement pages and other issues.
The solution was clear.
When Fannie Mae announced its Day 1 Certainty® initiative in October 2016, Guaranteed Rate saw an opportunity to become an early adopter of technology designed to improve efficiency, enhance the borrower experience and reduce risk throughout the lending process — including asset verification.
Guaranteed Rate decided to partner with AccountChek® by FormFree®, the first automated asset verification service to be approved for Day 1 Certainty. Faster than gathering paper documents and easy to use on any device, AccountChek significantly streamlines the mortgage underwriting process for both borrowers and lenders, resulting in quicker decisions and higher borrower satisfaction.
After piloting AccountChek’s paperless asset verification process with a select group of “superuser” loan officers, Guaranteed Rate rolled AccountChek out companywide, partnering with FormFree to provide comprehensive training and support.
“We’ve made AccountChek part of the welcome email our loan processors send to borrowers listing the documentation we need. We explain that AccountChek is the way we verify assets and that it’s more streamlined and safer than emailing or uploading bank statements. There’s no threat of documents getting lost or misplaced, and it’s easy to update the information later on if we need to — for example, to account for gift funds or earnest money deposits,” explains Amber Arwine, a senior mortgage specialist at Guaranteed Rate.
The results spoke for themselves.
Today nearly 60% of Guaranteed Rate’s customers opt in to digital asset verification using AccountChek. Lando credits two initiatives with driving such an impressive adoption rate. First, Guaranteed Rate decided to position AccountChek early in the application process.
“Our success rate grows exponentially with AccountChek when we move it up earlier in the process and have our loan officers position AccountChek with the borrower, so that the borrower understands what it is and that it’s a trustworthy technology,” Lando says.
Second, Guaranteed Rate has deployed internal and external strategic marketing campaigns to educate loan teams and borrowers on the benefits of AccountChek.
Benefits AccountChek has delivered for the Guaranteed Rate team include1:
- Internal Efficiency
“AccountChek is able to make our processing teams more efficient in three ways,” says Lando. “One, we now have the ability to streamline document collection to make sure we get everything we need the first time, without all the back and forth. Two, the integration of AccountChek with Desktop Underwriter® tells us right away if we have enough assets for cash-to-close in reserves and if we have any deposits we need to source. Finally, DU validation enables us to bypass the processor and streamline underwriting by eliminating traditional bank statements, which come in hundreds of different formats, and bypassing the need for a human to review the documentation.”
- Smoother Borrower Interactions
AccountChek gives borrowers one less thing to do, producing an all-around more satisfactory lending experience. Instead of tracking down paper statements or downloading them from the bank’s website, borrowers can verify assets in minutes on their own mobile device.
- Big Time Savings
Guaranteed Rate has reported significant time savings of 4 to 8 days per loan application whenever a borrower opts in to digital asset validation.
I had a client who was doing a simultaneous purchase and a sale,” says Arwine. “He really needed a streamlined process. It was really important to him to work with a company that had the tech tools to be able to do it in a very streamlined way, so we used AccountChek to verify assets and were able to get his clear to close in about 10 days.
At the time Guaranteed Rate first implemented AccountChek, getting from a loan application to clear-to-close in 10 days was a stretch goal. Now, it’s business as usual for the lender.
Watch the video to hear even more about Guaranteed Rate’s experience with AccountChek automated asset verification.
1 Reported results are based on the customer’s own experiences and may not be typical.