Boston Real Estate for Sale

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Getting a Boston condo mortgage can be a harrowing experience for anyone, but for those who don’t fit the middle-of-last-century stereotype of homeownership — white, married, heterosexual — the stress is amplified by the heightened probability of getting an unfair deal.

In 2019, African Americans were denied mortgages at a rate of 16% and Hispanics were denied at 11.6%, compared with just 7% for white Americans, according to data from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). An Iowa State University study published the same year found that LGBTQ couples were 73% more likely to be denied a mortgage than heterosexual couples with comparable financial credentials.

Boston real estate and digital mortgage websites and apps

Digital mortgage websites and apps represent a potential improvement. Without showing their faces, prospective borrowers can upload their financial information, get a letter of preapproval, customize loan criteria (like the size of the down payment) and search for interest rates. Software processes the data and, and if the numbers check out, approves a loan. Most of the companies offer customer service via phone or chat, and some require that applicants speak with a loan officer at least once. But often the process is fully automated.

Last year, 98% of mortgages originated by Quicken Loans, the country’s largest lender, used the company’s digital platform, Rocket Mortgage. Bank of America recently adopted its own digital platform. And so-called fintech startups like Roostify and Blend have licensed their software to some of the nation’s other large banks.

Downtown Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line

Reducing — or even removing — human brokers from the mortgage underwriting process could democratize the industry. From 2018 to 2019, Quicken reported a rise in first-time and millennial homebuyers. Last year, Better.com said, it saw significant increases in traditionally underrepresented homebuyers, including people of color, single women, LGBTQ couples, and customers with student loan debt.

Source: Better.com

Boston Real Estate for Sale

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