Digital mortgages are all the rage. Whether you are buying your first home, selling to take advantage of high home values, or benefiting from the low-rate environment to refinance, the digital world is the place to be.

If you have not yet experienced mortgage automation, from the start of your application to closing the deal, your world is about to be rocked.

The numbers don’t lie, digital mortgages are going mainstream. The technology funding them exceeded $1.2 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2021, up nearly 25% vs. year-end 2020 levels.

That momentum is only expected to grow in the current white-hot real estate market as homebuyers and homeowners alike flock online.

Even with all the tech innovations, online mortgage trends continue to evolve. As the industry becomes even more intuitive, and regulation catches up, consumers are likely to increasingly shun the paper-intensive way of getting a mortgage and go digital.

In this article, we will explore some of the key trends that are fueling the push to digital mortgages.

Hybrid Approach: Two for One

Homebuyers are flocking to digital mortgages but that does not mean they need to compromise on certain expectations. Increasingly consumers are looking to strike a balance between these two things: the convenience that an automated process has to offer and the human touch when needed.
It is possible for homebuyers to get the best of both worlds, and they are increasingly demanding it.

According to a study by J.D. Power, more than three-quarters of millennials and Gen Z home buyers who have experienced a combination of digital and live support throughout the mortgage application and approval process would return to the digital lender.

When it is time to refinance, these customers will “definitely consider” their current lender again.

RateCloud is among the digital lenders that offer borrowers a hybrid of automation, not the least of which includes features like closing a loan more quickly and more cheaply, and live underwriter support when needed.

Digital Settlement

Digital settlements allow for the transfer of a property from the seller to the buyer in an online setting. In order for it to come together, however, several moving parts including processes and parties must be equipped for digital. These include:

  • Settlement agent
  • Opening and receiving a title order
  • Earnest money security deposit made to seller
  • Scheduling of the closing date
  • Status notifications

When fortune smiles, the result is a process that leads to time and cost savings for all parties involved. And while the pendulum has begun to swing toward digital settlements, it is a transition that is still unfolding in the industry.


Closings are the pinnacle event in the homebuying or refi process. This is where the notary, agent, buyer, seller, lender, and settlement firm gather, documents are signed, and keys change hands.

Electronic closings, or e-closings, bring this process online so that participants can join remotely. While no physical handshakes might take place, this is the culmination of the homebuying and digital mortgage process.

E-closings are getting more popular across the U.S. as regulation makes room for them. As long as everyone has access to a device with a camera and a microphone, including the notary, the necessary steps for a closing can be handled digitally.

These include document signing and identity verification, the latter of which could require uploading an ID or answering a set of questions that provide proof of who you are.

Like digital mortgages, demand for e-closings grew during the pandemic due to global lockdowns and social distancing measures. While restrictions have eased, additional variants continue to pop up, and it appears e-closings are here to stay.

E-closings are an important trend that are helping shape the digital mortgage market. Digital mortgage lenders that were early movers like RateCloud have a competitive advantage.

RON Factor

Whether or not you can participate in an e-closing may have something to do with the state in which you live.

A phenomenon known as remote online notarizations (RON) is making the rounds. It is a major undertaking in which all vendors involved in a transaction must have the right technology integrated and documents must be able to be digitized

It is currently legal in more than three-dozen U.S. states, and lawmakers are pushing to make it more widespread.

Blockchain for Real Estate

Blockchain has already played havoc with the financial services, and now this distributed ledger technology has also begun making its way into real estate.

To be clear, digital mortgages already deliver cost savings to borrowers through lower rates thanks to the automated nature of the process, which cuts out the need for so many deal participants.

With Blockchain a higher level of efficiency is brought in with lower costs and speedier transactions.

For example, the peer-to-peer nature of cryptocurrency payments on the blockchain accelerates transaction times dramatically, in some cases to near real-time, which is a welcome feature when you are looking to buy the house of your dreams.

Crypto payments are also touted for their dramatically lower fees compared to traditional transactions, leaving more money in the homebuyer’s pocket to splurge on new furniture.

Real estate is one of the many potential use cases of blockchain. And while it is early innings as an online mortgage trend, it is one to keep an eye on for the future.

Digital Tailwinds

If you are ready to see what the fuss is all about for yourself, don’t delay. The digital mortgage market has the wind at its back and these market trends are reshaping the way that homeownership and refinancing get done.
Learn more about RateCloud’s digital mortgage options and get started on your digital mortgage application today!