Surprise: Consumers Voice Satisfaction With Home Equity Line of Credit/Loan Origination

Surprise: Consumers Voice Satisfaction With Home Equity Line of Credit/Loan Origination


Home Equity Loan

J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing information services company says that despite an economy affected by a stagnant housing market, decreasing home values and upheaval among lenders, overall customer satisfaction with the home equity line of credit/loan origination process has actually improved since 2007. The findings were part of the association’s 2008 Home Equity Line/Loan Origination Study(SM).

“Ongoing troubles in the housing and mortgage lending markets have had the effect of lowering customer expectations around the home equity loan and line of credit origination process. Since homeowners may have feelings of uncertainty toward property values and lenders, they may associate the loan application process with hassle and frustration,” said Tim Ryan, senior research director of the finance and insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “As a result, customers who obtained a home equity product report being more satisfied with the process in 2008, compared with 2007, even though measures of service — such as the average length of time for application approval — have remained consistent during the past year.”

The J.D. Power study measures customer satisfaction with home equity lenders utilizing four factors: the application/approval process; closing; loan officer/representative or banker; and problem resolution.

Closing costs and price — including interest rates and fees — are particularly important considerations for consumers. Being able to understand and compare terms from various lenders also helps consumers find a better deal.

Shopping for a home equity loan or line of credit by contacting several lenders and allowing them to compete for your business is something J.D. Power says is most beneficial for consumer satisfaction. With this, consumers are able to secure lower fees and points, resulting in better interest rates. Understanding the terms of the loan before signing the closing papers and clearing up a misunderstanding or renegotiating terms are other factors which contribute to consumer satisfaction.

So, which lenders came out on top of the survey? J.D. Power and Associates found that Bank of America, SunTrust, and Wachovia were this year’s top three finishers.


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Categories: Home Financing

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".