Firm seeks to ease housing loan process
Upstart property mortgage brokerage Nook seeks to make it easier for Filipino consumers to search for property assets to buy or rent, compare loans offered by various banks and apply for loans using a pioneering online platform.
“Applying for a home loan here in the Philippines can be a tedious and intimidating process. Before prospective clients even begin, they are already overwhelmed with the long list of requirements or the time they need to set aside to accomplish all the application steps. We aim to address this with Nook. We offer users an end-to-end platform, from property search to bank approvals, empowering more Filipinos to gain seamless access to financial options available to them,” Nook chief executive officer Chris Elder said during the company’s media launch on Wednesday.
Nook allows potential borrowers to find the right housing loan and assist them throughout the application process—thereby sparing them from having to go to different banks to compare what each one has to offer. Through Nook, a prospective borrower will get a preview of the amount of monthly repayments to make, fees and other requirements from each bank and even gets prequalified for housing loan in just a few minutes.
The company has teamed up with top banking institutions in the country, including Asia United Bank, BDO, BPI Family Savings Bank, Bank of Commerce, CTBC Bank, Chinabank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Security Bank, to give home buyers a wide array of financing options to match their needs. Five more banks are seen to enter into partnership with Nook soon.
“They (banks) are effectively outsourcing the finding and qualifying of loan applications,” he said.
Through its website www.nook.com.ph, Nook seeks to assist clients in every step of their housing loan process free of charge. It will earn commission from the partner bank for each successful referral. A mobile app will also be launched in the future.
“What Nook offers is direct access to bank partners for your home loans with the easiest application process you can get,” Elder added. “It is time that the Philippines recognize how technology can transform the home loan process from application to closing.”
The length of loan approval and disbursement will depend on the asset to be purchased. In the case of condominium developments whose developers are preselling units and are accredited by the lending bank, loan approval can take four to seven days. For transactions involving secondary market purchases, approval can take longer.
Elder said he was upbeat on Nook’s business in the Philippines, citing the dearth of mortgage brokerage solutions in this part of the world coupled with the increasing purchasing power of Filipinos and thousands of new residential options built each year.
Nook seeks to fill the gap in bridging consumers to banks in terms of the loan application process, especially for young people who tend to get intimidated to start their home loan search due to various reasons, including not knowing whether they are qualified to borrow from any of the local banks for a housing loan.
The company also believes that this is an opportune time for the Philippines to adopt the trend and practices of the industry in countries such as Australia and the United States where more than 60 percent and 68 percent of borrowers, respectively, go through mortgage brokers instead of direct-bank applications to secure a housing loan.
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