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Online Lending Heats Up: Mortgagebot

A study released today finds online lending practices are growing, as is the credit-worthiness of online borrowers, according to Mortgagebot's Benchmarks 2009 report.

Approximately 40% of lenders now take more than 25% of their applications through an online channel, according to the Benchmarks report. That's up sharply from the mere 1% who took applications via the web at the start of the decade.

It seems more and more borrowers prefer the online channel. During 2008, the number of people completing online mortgage applications increased in every demographic category from 30 to 69 years of age, according to the Benchmarks report.

The 'GenX' demographic continued to outperform other groups, with nearly one in three of all online mortgage applications coming from adults in the 30- to 39-year-old range.

Mortgagebot president and CEO Scott Happ also noted that online disclosures are becoming more and more common. "Disclosures are a very hot topic these days, and we're pleased to note that in 2008 almost three-fourths of the disclosures generated by our clients were delivered online," he said.

The report also found online borrowers' household income is increasing. Despite the challenging economy in 2008, the household income of online borrowers climbed to $93,717 -- up 10% from 2006. Additionally, online borrowers have increasingly "solid" credit ratings, Mortgagebot said. The average credit score of online borrowers has risen from 709 in 2006 to 732 in 2008.

This bi-annual report is a comprehensive survey and analysis of the online lending trends, practices, and procedures that have been implemented at the more than 5,000 mortgage-lending Web sites that Mortgagebot maintains for its more than 900 clients nationwide.

"Our client family is made up of banks and credit unions of every size and description," noted Happ, "so our study represents the real-world activity of a broad spectrum of lenders from coast to coast."

Write to Kelly Curran.

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