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How to Shop for Loan Origination Software

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Loan origination software can help you stay organized as you review applications and provide funds to growing businesses. But how can you be sure you’re buying the right loan origination software for your needs?

In this guide, we’ll review the most important strategies and principles to follow when looking for the best fit for your organization:

General Principles

Let’s start with some of the most important general principles to follow.

  • Know your priorities. First, you need to understand your own priorities. There are many different types of loan origination software out there, each with prominent strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t know what your business goals are, or if you don’t know what your highest priorities are, you won’t know which platform to choose. Talk with your team and sort out your hierarchy of priorities so you can make more effective decisions later on.
  • Compare apples to apples. It’s difficult to compare some types of loan origination software, because they offer completely different sets of features or they’re targeted at two different types of customers. As much as possible, make apples to apples comparisons. Don’t write off the possibility of using one platform just because it’s missing a single feature or because it’s inherently worse than another platform in only one key aspect.
  • Take advantage of free trials. Most software developers offer generous free trials because they’re an excellent tool for generating sales. But you can take advantage of these, spinning them for your own benefit. Whenever a new platform looks promising, jump in and take it for a free trial period you usually have nothing to lose by experimenting.
  • Get several people involved. In most cases, you want to get several people involved with this decision. Decisions by committee may not work out in creative projects, but when it comes to choosing software, you can’t afford to neglect the opinions of other people who will be using and managing this platform. Collect opinions and use them as another source of information for your final decision.
  • Take your time. Finally, take your time. You might be eager to get started with your new platform, so you can start seeing the benefits, but it’s usually better to take a measured and thoughtful approach.

Core Features

One of the most important things you’ll need to review in different loan origination software platforms is the set of core features offered by each platform.

Usually, you’ll see an assortment like the following:

  • Application management.
  • Underwriting.
  • Customer management.
  • Onboarding.
  • Compliance.
  • Tracking and analytics.

However, you may see even more augmented functionality in your choices.

Learnability

You should also consider the learnability of the platform you’re scrutinizing. This is something that your employees will be using on a regular basis, indefinitely. You need to make sure they can learn the platform quickly and without attrition – and make sure they can continue intuitively using the platform consistently.

Uptime, Accessibility, and Performance

What about uptime, accessibility, and performance? A software platform is no good if it can only be used some of the time, or if it struggles with frequent downtime. Look for a provider with solid cloud hosting and uptime insurance.

Security and Privacy

If you’re managing loans and other financial information, privacy and security are an undeniable priority. What security features are currently offered by this app? How much control do you have over security measures like user management?

Customer and Technical Support

Are you able to get answers to your questions when you need them? Is there a technician always online who can help you sort out any technical problems you have? This reassurance could help you feel much better about your purchasing decision.

Developer Support and Future

The best software products aren’t developed in one big chunk; instead, they evolve over time. How much developer support is available for this app? Is it likely to get plenty of updates and improvements in the future? Is there a road map in place to add new core features to the app, without increasing the subscription price for existing subscribers?

Pricing

Finally, you’ll need to think about pricing. It’s possible you’ll find a platform that serves all of your current and future hypothetical needs, but if it’s too expensive, it might not be feasible for your organization. Instead, you’ll need to consider the ROI carefully, noting the value the platform would bring to your organization and comparing it to the ongoing costs. In some cases, you may also be able to negotiate the price, giving you access to a platform that would otherwise be out of your budget – so be sure to talk to a salesperson.

Shopping for loan origination software isn’t always easy, but it also doesn’t have to be agonizing. Follow the advice in this article to remain lean and efficient while getting closer to finding the perfect fit for your organization.

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