Better.com is starting 2023 with a product leaders there think will revolutionize the industry: a mortgage application with a one-day turnaround.
Better announced the launch of its One Day Mortgage in a press release. The company says its customers can get pre-approved, lock in a rate, and get a Mortgage Commitment Letter completely online and within 24 hours.
“We spent the first seven years bringing the mortgage industry into the digital era, and executing over $100 billion of fully digital online mortgages. Better’s offerings serve to kickstart the slow, opaque, and costly homeownership process. With One Day Mortgage, Better is revolutionizing the mortgage industry once again by empowering its customers, making it not only cheaper, but also faster and easier to own a home, all in one day,” said Better Founder and CEO Vishal Garg.
Some Better customers tried the program in beta earlier this month, and the company says it has already processed over $50 million in One Day Mortgage commitments.
Its customers received Commitment Letters in an average of 12 hours, according to company leaders.
“For my entire career, a one-day mortgage has served as the holy grail for consumer finance companies to achieve and scale. With this launch, Better has developed its breakthrough offering,” said Harit Talwar, chairman of Better.
“This milestone will add immense value to the consumer, create a significant strategic moat for Better, and be a near impossible act for competitors to follow.”
Borrowers in all 50 states can apply for One Day Mortgages. They must be salaried employees and make a downpayment of at least 3% on a conforming Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan.
The decisions are conditional, however, and the initial underwriting decision does not guarantee final approval.
The move shows that Better is trying to innovate its way out of the trouble it faced in 2022.
The company suffered a year of PR trouble, starting with the now infamous layoffs of 900 employees via Zoom three weeks before Christmas in 2021.
Rumors about Garg’s “bully” behavior, including berating the company’s own investors and calling employees “dumb dolphins,” led to high-profile exec exits. Garg was forced into a leave of absence but faced backlash from employees when he returned just a few months later.
The company has also faced an SEC investigation, a lawsuit for the wrongful firing of a former executive, and multiple deadline extensions for its SPAC merger with Aurora Acquisition Corp.
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