Most mortgage Web sites have room for improvement, though three stand out among the rest.
Wachovia Corp.'s Web site was ranked among the best three, Change Sciences Group reported today. Also listed among the top three sites were ditech and E-LOAN.
Change Sciences said its findings were based on an analysis during the past month of 18 leading mortgage lender sites using advanced software models that simulated how prospects interact with sites. The sites were rated on users' ability to research mortgage rates and terms.
Among the Web sites reviewed were those of Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Chase, CitiMortgage, ERA Mortgage, GMAC Mortgage, HSBC, National City Mortgage, PNC, Quicken Loans, Regions, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
"Most online rate quote processes are hindered by poor usability and readability, making them much harder to understand than they need to be," the press release said. "Most mortgage sites have at least once instance of a show stopping navigation problem, readability problem, or layout problem."
The report indicated the majority of sites made it difficult to understand rate quotes. Quotes at the best sites were more than five times easier to read than quotes at the worst sites.
In addition, applications were often too long and tedious. The longest applications was about double the length of the shortest.
By making sites easier to use, Change Sciences said the volume and quality of applications will improve.