How do Americans choose their mortgage plans and which companies do they consider most?
June 14th, 2024, Rishad Dsouza

How do Americans choose their mortgage plans and which companies do they consider most?

A new YouGov self-serve study uncovers mortgage buying pathways in the US. It examines everything from brand awareness of mortgage lenders to how they initiate their search for the ideal mortgage and other actions they take that could influence mortgage buying behavior.

The search for a mortgage for three-fifths of US adults begins by directly reaching out to a bank or mortgage lender (60%). But mortgage comparison websites could also play a big role for 44% of them, and seeking advice from friends and family is not too far behind (40%). Three in ten say they would contact a mortgage broker as they get their mortgage search underway. Things like real estate websites (16%), financial news and articles (11%) and online forums (10%) can also play a smaller but still substantial role.

Given that mortgage seekers are most likely to directly contact a mortgage lender as they initiate their hunt for an ideal plan, brand awareness becomes especially important. Bank of America has the edge in this regard, recognized by 82% of US adults, with Wells Fargo (81%) in the same league. Chase (76%) and Rocket Mortgage (74%) also command significant awareness. US Bank (57%) is recognized by over half the population. About a fifth of Americans are aware of First Republic Bank (21%) and Loan Depot also (20%) as mortgage providers.

But when it comes to financial institutions, brand awareness is only a part of the picture as the reputation attached to a name can also sway decisions. And, of all the names listed, Chase is picked as the most reputable mortgage provider by a fifth of Americans (20%), well clear of awareness leaders Bank of America (13%) and Wells Fargo (9%). Rocket Mortgage, in spite of relatively low awareness compared to those two, is regarded as the most reputed by 11%. U.S. Bank gets wins the vote of 6% of Americans.

Actions consumers undertake in relation to getting a mortgage

The data also looks into preparatory actions taken by individuals regarding obtaining a mortgage. Nearly half of all Americans (46%) have checked property prices in their desired living area, while 42% have calculated their borrowing capacity. About 32% have initiated the mortgage application process, and 29% have discussed their plans with family or friends or have taken steps to improve their credit score. Only 14% have explored government schemes for first-time buyers. Interestingly, 35% of respondents have not engaged in any of these activities, indicating a range of preparedness levels among potential homebuyers.

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Methodology: YouGov polled 500 US adults aged 18 to 64, who currently either own a property with a mortgage/loan or who rent and who have a gross household income of between $60k and $500k. The survey was conducted in June 2024 and carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.

Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash