Applying for a mortgage or refinancing your home is a significant financial decision. It’s a process that requires you to divulge personal and financial information to your mortgage lender. This can include sensitive data such as your tax returns, bank statements, and credit history. Naturally, you may be concerned about your personal information security during this process. In this blog, we’ll explore this topic and shed light on how 1st United Mortgage ensures the safety of your data.
Why is Personal Information Needed?
Before addressing security concerns, it’s essential to understand why mortgage lenders require such a vast amount of personal information. In the past, the lending process was less stringent, but today, lenders need to ensure that borrowers have the financial means to repay their mortgages. The days of a simple handshake deal are long gone.
Mortgage lenders now meticulously verify the information provided by borrowers to make informed lending decisions. They need this information to confirm your monthly income, debts, job status, and bill-paying history. All of this is to ensure that you can comfortably handle your monthly mortgage payments.
Protection of Your Information: A Top Priority for 1st United Mortgage
At 1st United Mortgage, we understand the sensitivity of the information you provide during the mortgage application process. We take extensive measures to protect your personal and financial data.
Our commitment to securing your information aligns with federal regulations, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This legislation mandates that financial institutions like ours notify consumers about how much or how little of their financial data is shared with third parties. We prioritize safeguarding your information in accordance with these regulations.
Risks Associated with Email Communication
One area of concern when it comes to data security is email communication. Surprisingly, more than 70 percent of mortgage lenders still permit borrowers to send their personal and financial information through unencrypted email as attachments. This practice poses a significant risk, as cybercriminals can easily access such information.
Why do some lenders continue to use unsecure email for sensitive data? According to a study by HALOCK Security Labs, it’s because some lenders prioritize an easy application process over a secure one. However, 1st United Mortgage takes a different approach.
Secure Online Portals: A Safer Alternative
To protect your information, we recommend that you submit your documents through secure online portals. These portals require passwords and log-ins, making it far less likely that your data will be intercepted by cybercriminals. We believe that it’s no longer feasible to rely on unsecure email for transferring financial documents.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Information?
If you’re ready to apply for a mortgage with 1st United Mortgage there are steps you can take to protect your sensitive data:
- Insist on Secure Online Portals: When dealing with lenders, insist on submitting copies of your documents through secure online portals that require passwords and log-ins.
- Consider Mailing or In-Person Delivery: If secure online portals are not an option, you can choose to mail your information and documents to lenders or drop them off in person.
- Review Your Lender’s Privacy and Security Policies: Always ask to read your lender’s privacy and security policies. Understanding their commitment to protecting your data is crucial.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: Your Protection Against Data Sharing
Beyond security, you may wonder if your mortgage lender could sell your personal information to third parties. Mortgage lenders do need access to your financial information for various reasons, such as processing your loan and complying with regulatory requirements. However, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act also comes into play here.
This federal law mandates that your lender provides you with a document explaining how they use your personal information and whether they share it with others. This document should detail why your lender shares your information and whether it’s for third parties to provide services related to your loan or to identify financial products that might interest you.
Your Options and Control
You have control over the sharing of your personal information. The document from your lender should include contact information (a phone number, website, or mailing address) that you can use to inform them of your preferences. You can choose to limit the sharing of your data for marketing or promotional purposes.
Expect the Paperwork
While concerns about security and data sharing are valid, it’s essential to understand that the mortgage process involves a significant amount of paperwork. Your lender needs this information to make sound lending decisions and to ensure that you can meet your monthly mortgage obligations.
At 1st United Mortgage, we prioritize your security and privacy throughout the mortgage application process. We’re committed to providing you with a seamless and secure experience.
Your Secure Mortgage Journey Begins with 1st United Mortgage
When you choose 1st United Mortgage for your mortgage or refinancing needs, you can trust that your personal and financial information is in safe hands. We offer secure online portals, robust data protection measures, and a commitment to compliance with federal regulations.
Your journey to homeownership starts here. To begin a secure and stress-free mortgage application, contact us at (931) 548-1985 or visit our website. We’re here to guide you every step of the way.