The mortgage loan process: then and now
If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage loan in the past, you probably know that the process can be lengthy and stressful, requiring a lot of paperwork and detailed communication with the mortgage broker, lender, or bank that’s facilitating your loan. After collecting all your hard-copy documents, you had to physically go in to see a lender. Furthermore, if you wanted to explore multiple loan offers, you had to make copies of all your documents and visit each lender to see what loan options you qualify for. Likewise, if you’ve worked in the mortgage or banking industry, you know that the loan process has many different steps that can be tedious and time-consuming if you and your company are tackling them alone.
Back then, this type of conventional mortgage lending was the only option with borrowers, brokers, and lenders painstakingly going through the long and complicated, paper-heavy process. Nowadays, thanks to a growing tech and software industry, the loan application process has gone digital and paperless. This allows borrowers to access a much wider range of options, as you can upload your documents to a secure, online platform and your mortgage broker can use this information to help you compare offers from multiple different lenders. These digital platforms also make record keeping much easier, as all your information is in one place for you and your broker to access when necessary. This makes nearly every step of the loan process, from origination to closing and funding, quicker and more efficient.
It’s no wonder that most borrowers, brokers, and lenders now prefer a fully online mortgage process. But how exactly does this new process work?
Loan origination systems
A mortgage loan origination system, also known as an LOS, is a platform that manages the steps throughout the lending process from the borrower application to post-closing. The two main objectives of an LOS are origination, which includes loan application management and pre-approval, and fulfillment, which includes appraisal, underwriting, closing, funding, and post-closing. Throughout these processes, a good LOS will ensure that documentation is compliant with federal and state laws, data is secure, and the loan origination process goes as efficiently as possible with minimal manual intervention.
Loan origination can be boiled down to a few steps: pre-qualification, loan application, application processing, underwriting, credit decisioning, and loan filing. Ideally, an LOS would provide digitalization and automation of all these processes; however, some LOSs only focus on solutions for a few of these steps or only work well with specific business models. As a mortgage broker, lender, or banker, it’s important to identify the services and coverage, level of security, and the integrations that each LOS has with other systems you may use or want to use in the future. Specifically, it’s important that an LOS includes or can be integrated into other programs built for customer relationship management (CRM) and point of sale (POS). CRM helps automate the marketing process and communication with clients, while POS provides a front-facing platform where borrowers can initiate and follow their loan application. Combining LOS, CRM, and POS can help your company retain customers, build a client base, improve your return on investment, and continue to grow without having to hire extra staff.
This guide includes information on some of the most popular mortgage loan origination systems, including their background information, user reviews, and LOS features. Here are the top LOSs covered: Lending Pad, Calyx, Arive, SimpleNexus, FileInvite, Floify, Mortgage Automator, Encompass, Turnkey Lender, and UberWriter. Company ratings are an average taken from Software advice and Capterra. Each LOS may also offer features in addition to those listed below.
Lending Pad was established in 2015 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. They are a cloud-based software company with services that span the entire mortgage lending process. Lending Pad is endorsed by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) and the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME). The software integrates with several third-party applications and offers solutions for brokers, lenders, and processing centers. Regarding warehouse management, their software allows bankers to track loan inventory, perform post-closing audits, and handle secondary tasks with investors. Lending Pad has a 4.4 rating.
Built-in customer relationship management (CRM) tool
Lead and campaign management
Service level agreements
Same-file multi-user edit capabilities
Real-time push updates
Calyx was established in 1991 and is headquartered in San Jose, California. They deliver the industry’s shortest LOS time frame launch and have 5 programs for the mortgage process: path, zenly, zip, point, and point central. Calyx offers services for financial institutions (community banks and credit unions), bankers, lenders, and brokers. They have 200 integrated partners and a 3.5 rating.
3 channels: retail, wholesale, and correspondent
No implementation time
Q&A-style borrower interview
Features, forms and reports for loan marketing, prequalification, origination, and processing
Prospect database and pipeline management
Sales and loan checklists
Enhanced security features
INK - electronic signature tool
WebCaster - Google analytics tracking tool
Arive was established in 2018 and is headquartered in San Ramon, California. They are the first integrated LOS, POS, and Products and Pricing Engine (PPE) tech company in the industry, geared towards independent mortgage brokers and non-delegated correspondents. Arive offers a free trial and uses a “seats” pricing system where each user has their own subscription. They are a subsidiary of the software development company, Wizni, Inc (LendWize) and some of the top wholesale mortgage lenders in the US use their software. Arive has a 4.8 google rating.
One-click automated underwriting system (AUS)
Integrated settlement fees
Quarterly mortgage call reports
Connected lender marketplace
SimpleNexus was established in 2011 and is headquartered in Lehi, Utah. They are a cloud-based homeownership platform with services for mortgage lenders, banks, and credit unions, believed to work the best for companies with 20 or more loan originators. SimpleNexus is a nCino company. They have 5 products: Nexus Engagement, Nexus Origination, Nexus Closing, CompenSafe, Nexus Vision. Nexus Origination is their main LOS product that also enhances POS. Most of their features have received high customer ratings. SimpleNexus has a 4.8 rating.
Check entire loan pipeline
View Desktop Underwriter (DU)
Send pre-approval letters
Create payment requests and accept payments
FileInvite was established in 2015 and has US headquarters in Denver, Colorado with their main headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand. They offer a cloud-based POS solution that integrates with third-party applications such as Encompass, Calyx, Byte, LendingQB, Docusign, DropBox, Google Drive, Veri-Tax, Slack, and banks. FileInvite offers services for a wide range of industries including: mortgage and insurance brokers, accountants/financial advisors, lawyers, website design, digital agencies, advertising/media, construction, councils, office administration, education, and HR onboarding. FileInvite is an emerging favorite among the LOSs with the best ease of use and best value. FileInvite has a 4.7 rating.
Client portal with integrated messaging
Digital signatures and forms
Document generation with customizable form fields
Status tracking with custom labels
File request management
API & integrations
Request bank statements
Sync contacts and returned files to cloud storage
Floify was established in 2013 and is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. Their cloud-based services are for brokers and agents and use the most advanced digital 1003 form in the industry. Floify’s web applications can be branded and are very customizable. They also have a realtor and referral partner portal. Floify has many integrations: Encompass, Byte, LendingQB, Calyx, Docusign, DropBox, Box, Google Drive, Slack, Veri-Tax, and over 16,000 major US banks. Floify has a 4.8 rating.
Automated borrower/agent communications
Automated asset verification
Milestone alerts via SMS, email, and mobile applications
Advanced digital 1003
Summary screens for borrower review
Multilingual subtitles and accessible design
Secure document portal
Loan application and document upload
Monitor loan status
Built for use on mobile devices
Mortgage Automator was established in 2013 and is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. They began as a document generator tool for a particular private lender company, but when they relaunched in 2019, they expanded to offer cloud-based loan servicing features to private lenders and hard money lenders of all sizes. Mortgage Automator continued to expand from residential loan origination to offer construction and commercial loan origination (including rehabilitations and fix & flips). They have services for loan origination, loan servicing, fund features, portals, and partnerships. Mortgage Automator is ranked high among the LOSs with the best ease of use and best value. Their integrations include Filogix, Lendesk, QuickBooks, Finmo, and Equifax. Mortgage Automator has a 4.9 rating.
Record investor statements
Auto-generation of custom documents
Funding deal structuring based on increased rates and variable-rates
Customizable loan types
Encompass is by ICE Mortgage Technology which was established in 2000 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. ICE Mortgage Technology has offices internationally in Belarus, Poland, and India. Encompass is a cloud-based LOS, one of the most recognized in the industry with the largest partner network. Encompass is built for lenders of all sizes and offers a wide range of products from CRM, third-party originator (TPO), eClose, home equity, and more. Encompass eClose in particular is innovating the closing process of mortgages with document ordering, borrower engagement, settlement agent collaboration, eSignatures, and more. Encompass has a 3.9 rating.
Next-generation data security
Track loan applications
Arrange loan files systematically
Process automation for loan underwriting tasks
Audit existing loans
Compliance management system
Integrated pricing engine
API - application customization
TurnKey Lender was established in 2014 and has headquarters in Austin, Texas. They are a global Unified Lending Management (ULM) platform that is cloud-based. TurnKey Lender is best known for the quickness and quality of its loan decisions through their AI-powered lending platform. Their services are for finance providers and embedded lenders, with coverage in more than 50 countries and support for many credit products (commercial and consumer). The scope of industries they have services for include banks, credit unions, finance companies, small consumer lenders, non-profit, healthcare, and government. TurnKey Lender has a 4.5 rating.
Powered by proprietary deep neural networks and machine learning algorithms:
Unmatched credit decisioning accuracy
Exceeds data security requirements
AI & alternative scoring development
Credit decisioning analytics
Credit scoring consulting
Digital transformation services
Loan application form
Anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) compliance checks and solutions:
Credit Bureau check automation
Automatic ID verification
Automatic bank account verification
Bank statement scoring
200+ build-in fraud detection rules
UberWriter by Blueprint
UberWriter by Blueprint is a cloud-based income analysis tool. They have solutions for mortgage officers when it comes to determining borrowers’ income from tax returns and bank statements. These services are especially useful for processors and underwriters, but they also serve quality control and audit teams of banks and other large agencies. UberWriter has the least number of features, focusing on the credit review process with two platforms: IncomeXpert and IncomeXpert PLUS. They have integrations with LOSs, 1003, and document management systems, specifically Encompass. UberWriter has a 4.6 rating.
Training for loan applications, property appraisals, fraud, and risk management
API - upload data and generate tax return information
Interactive developer portal
Many coding languages
Flags warnings and advisories
Generates a clear income analysis report
Upload tax returns and income documents
Software scans documents to create income calculations
To sum up
You’ve now learned about some of the top mortgage loan origination systems, from their background information to user reviews and specific LOS features. There’s a lot of terminology to unpack when it comes to LOSs and this guide gives you a headstart into understanding the specifications and nuances of these software systems. If you happen to work in the mortgage industry, maybe this information has convinced you to go digital and explore the time and money-saving services that an LOS has to offer.
Here at Kredium, an international, digital mortgage broker, we have an in-house CRM and an LOS that allow us to expedite the loan process and focus on customer satisfaction. While we offer mortgage broker services in 60 countries and continue to expand in the mortgage and real estate industries, we remain committed to the quality and efficiency of our services. Our LOS is one of the components that allows us to exceed our customers expectations, even when it comes to specialized loan types such as those for foreign nationals. As we continue to expand, we want to grow our network and form beneficial relationships with companies that develop LOSs.
Contact us at Kredium to get in touch and let’s see what we can do together!