Google is setting its sights on the mortgage market with its Compare brand.
Google Compare for Mortgages makes the Mountain View-based company an official licensed mortgage broker in the state of California. Its service allows potential homebuyers to compare different mortgages from lenders so that they'll get the best deal possible.
Mortgage comparisons aren't the first service under Google's Compare brand. The company rolled out a similar product specifically targeting the auto insurance market early this year. In fact, the launch of Compare for Mortgages isn't too much of a surprise as Google had already teased the service in early 2015, as well.
Compare for Mortgages is a free tool to use that so far allows homeowners and homebuyers see 300 mortgages from more than 75 various lenders in California with more states in the country to follow soon. Though it is a free tool, it isn't necessarily a public service for consumers. Google will make money from it.
According to Google's AdWords website, "Participation in Google Compare is based on a flexible cost-per-lead (CPL) model, however payment isn't a factor in ranking or eligibility," the company notes.
Partnering with Google are Seattle-based Zillow, an online real estate company. They are helping to power Google's new product with its own data on lender rates, reviews and ratings. Another company, LendingTree, is also helping push data to the service.
"Whether you're a national lender or one local to California, people searching for mortgages on their smartphone or desktop computer can now find you, along with a real-time, apples-to-apples comparison of rate quotes from other lenders — all in as little as a minute," Google explains.
At the same time, borrowers themselves can also check out ratings and reviews of lenders and enter their preferences such as how much they'd like to borrow, their credit score, or the value of their home which will help bring up relevant results with quoted rates to match what they're looking for.
For homeowners and homebuyers, using the serivce is quite simple and well-streamlined. Visiting the Compare for Mortgages portal will help guide users through basic steps like entering their zip code, price of home, downpayment, etc. Users will then be asked how long they plan to live in the property. Afterwards, a lender will be recommended based on the user's preferences along with information regarding all the fees that would be associated with the chosen loan.