FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Even as many banks rush to meet the digital demands of their customers and prospects, a majority of those customers still prefers to apply for a mortgage loan in person.

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That is according to a recent survey conducted by the American Bankers Association (ABA). The survey indicated that while 61 percent of consumers say it is important for their bank of choice to offer mobile and online services for applying for a mortgage or making mortgage payments, an almost identical number – 60 percent – prefers to apply in person.

Conversely, only 17 percent said they would apply online. Another 23 percent were undecided.

Arvest Bank believes there are a lot of details and options to work through when applying for a mortgage loan, and many consumers want the added peace of mind that comes with walking through a big purchase with a financial expert. Consumers who are familiar with the process may choose to begin their application online, but it’s good to touch base with a mortgage representative in person for the most comprehensive review of their mortgage needs at some point in case there are changes or options the applicant needs to be aware of.

Perhaps surprisingly, the in-person preference held true across all age demographics in the ABA survey. While the highest percentages of those who preferred face-to-face interaction were in the 55 to 64 (65 percent) and 65-plus (64 percent) age groups, those 18 to 29 (58 percent) and 30 to 44 (57 percent) favored the in-person process slightly more than those age 45 to 54 (55 percent).

Arvest believes information surrounding a number of factors – such as qualifying, interest rates and types of mortgage loans – often is easier to obtain and understand with an in-person meeting than via a digital application. First-time homebuyers, in particular, may benefit from working with a mortgage expert to get pre-approved for a loan, even before they begin their search for a home. Pre-approval or pre-qualification makes first-time homebuyers better-equipped to meet with realtors or builders.

The ABA study also identified some of the most common obstacles that deter consumers from applying for a home loan. Down payments, property taxes, maintenance and student debt were the most-cited factors.

All of those things, Arvest believes, are why applying for a mortgage in person can be beneficial whether the buyer is purchasing their first home or their dream home.