Chicago-based bank BankFinancial has launched an online mortgage loan service which allows prospective homebuyers to compare rates, obtain loan recommendations, and prequalify for a mortgage loan without providing any personal information.
Prospective homebuyers are required to provide personal information only if they like what they see and want to continue. When the completed application is submitted, applicants will receive a decision via e-mail within 10 to 20 minutes on whether the loan has been conditionally preapproved.
The bank claims the service is the first of its kind in the country. John Connell, senior vice president, information systems, comments most bank loan sites require the user to provide a name and social security number so the bank can pull a credit report before quoting a rate. "On our site, the customer does not give personal information until he or she reviews the loan terms and decides to apply."
The service also features a personal secured mailbox so the bank can communicate with the customer and the customer can track the progress of the loan application.