How to Earn Mortgage Customers’ Trust With Better Data

John Hardesty


4 Ways Smarter Data Helps You Earn Mortgage Borrowers’ Trust

How enhanced VOI and VOE flows can improve your loan origination process and boost your conversion and retention rates

As a mortgage lender, you’re often helping borrowers through one of the biggest transactions of their life. With that in mind, trust is paramount. Anything you put in front of a potential borrower during origination and onboarding needs to be as honest and as accurate as possible if you want them to stick with you through closing and beyond.

Of course, that means offering seamless loan applications, so new prospects can quickly share their financial information and determine their eligibility. But it also means using every possible tool to ensure you’re assessing their financial health holistically and with high-quality data, so you can answer their questions, provide a more personalized experience, and allow them to feel confident they’re making the right purchase decision.

One of the best ways to do that is to automate your verification of income (VOI) and verification of employment (VOE) processes with real-time, consumer-permissioned data—the kind that only comes from direct payroll connections.

In this post, we review the major obstacles mortgage lenders typically encounter when it comes to winning and keeping customers’ trust, as well as four ways that upgrading your loan origination and onboarding workflows with smarter data from enhanced VOI and VOE processes can help you overcome them.

The trust issue in mortgage

According to the latest data, it takes an average of 52 days to close a mortgage loan, which means there are plenty of opportunities for customers to churn along the way.

And churn they do. A recent McKinsey study found that only 42% to 67% of consumers are satisfied with their mortgage experience, with those purchasing (rather than refinancing) and those working with traditional banks at the lower end of that range.

That’s one reason mortgage retention rates have plummeted in recent years, hitting a record-low 18% during the refinance boom of 2020.

In the McKinsey study, the leading cause of consumers’ disappointment was a poor mortgage origination and onboarding process—which they view as just as important or even more important than the pricing of their loan.

There are several ways in which the origination process can go wrong and cause a customer to lose trust in you as a lender:

  • Imprecise, impersonal support: Consumers want lenders that understand their unique financial circumstances and provide tailored strategies that meet their needs. That means basing plans on real, relevant data and not offering pre-approvals for mortgages beyond their affordability. It also means avoiding oversights—like data errors or missing documents—that can derail an application.

  • Opaque processes: If loan requirements and pricing terms aren’t laid out upfront, customers may abandon your workflows once they learn of hidden fees or complex, time-consuming steps they can’t or don’t want to carry out. They may also lose confidence if they don’t have clear visibility into their application status at every stage.

  • Sluggish turnaround: As every lender knows, today’s consumers expect fast, frictionless financial experiences. That means removing redundant, manual tasks from the equation and ensuring you have automated workflows that streamline data collection, accelerate underwriting, and enable smarter loan decisions.

Addressing these pain points and providing an exceptional onboarding experience becomes even more important in the face of a tough economy and steep competition. In our current climate, with mortgage rates on the rise and application volumes on the decline, it helps to have dynamic, tech-forward processes in place that can lower costs, drive efficiency, and attract and retain a wider pool of leads.

The value of direct payroll connections

Establishing direct connections with your customers’ payroll accounts allows you to stream live, verified data to power your VOI and VOE processes from end to end.

That, in turn, improves your origination and onboarding experiences—and your loan servicing experiences down the line—by building trust in four key ways:

Lower costs

More efficient workflows result in lower operational overhead for your team, while continuous data access eliminates the need for reverifications and related charges. These are variable, unexpected costs that are typically passed on to your customers and reflected in higher price tags that they don’t see coming.

Greater efficiency

With direct payroll connections, customers share their income and employment data instantly and automatically through their employer or payroll provider, so there’s no paperwork for them to complete or documents for them to chase down.

Better still, you get real-time, ongoing access to their financial information, so you can make quicker and more confident credit decisions that reduce your time to close.

Deeper insights

Unlike static reports from credit bureaus, direct payroll connections offer a granular, up-to-the-minute view of a customer’s income and employment activity—including shift-level work hours and gross-pay details like tax withholdings, plan contributions, and direct-deposit distributions that aren’t represented in a traditional credit history.

That gives you a more comprehensive view of a customer’s financial health, so you can better understand their needs, present options they can afford, and identify appropriate opportunities to upsell or cross-sell your services.

It also means you can serve more low- or no-credit consumers with confidence, empowering a key, underserved segment of the market. Ultimately, equipping them with stronger data helps them build their financial literacy and become credit-ready home buyers, while earning you their unending loyalty as customers.

100% accuracy

Payroll connections deliver data straight from a consumer’s employer or payroll account—the source of truth—so there’s no opportunity for human error or needless data gaps to interfere with your underwriting process or inflate your risk.

Enter Argyle

Argyle’s automated Income & Employment Verification solution can be fully customized to the look and feel of your brand, adapted to fit your customer journey, and even integrated with your existing point-of-sale (PoS) or loan origination system (LOS) for a cohesive flow, so your customers can easily share their income and employment data without ever leaving your application.

What’s more, Argyle’s data is fully consumer-permissioned, so your customers are involved and invested in the origination process and feel ownership over their own information. By putting them in the driver seat, you allow them to unlock better financial experiences, develop a deeper relationship with your platform, and obtain more affordable mortgages—helping them secure the homes they deserve.

Learn more about Argyle’s industry-leading mortgage solutions

You can visit our mortgage industry page to discover all the business benefits of our automated, frictionless VOI and VOE workflows—or get in touch with our team to discuss what our powerful payroll connections can do for you.