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Exchange now helps financial advisers find mortgages

Ally Home, Better, and Guaranteed Rate are the first residential mortgage lenders to join the Envestnet Credit Exchange, an online network that lets wealth managers see prequalified loan options that are available to their clients.

Financial advisers should be experts not just on investing but borrowing, and real estate financing is likely to be their clients’ greatest need, the Exchange’s backers say.

With the addition of mortgages and a broader selection of personal loans, the Envestment Credit Exchange now provides securities-backed, unsecured and real estate-based loans from $10,000 to $25 million and above.

Andrew Stavaridis

“To compete and succeed in the wealth management arena, advisors must address both sides of their clients’ balance sheet,” said Envestnet’s Andrew Stavaridis in a statement. “Helping clients build net worth means managing credit as strategically as investments.”

The exchange, which began offering personal loans from LightStream last year, has added Upgrade Inc. as an unsecured lending partner. Envestment said it’s also partnered with SweetPay’s Access Financing, a digital loan application platform, “to connect the Exchange with multiple unsecured lending partners” and return a wider selection of potential loans.

Launched in 2019, the Envestment Credit Exchange is powered by the Advisor Credit Exchange (ACx), which provides lending solutions to advisers and their clients via the Envestnet platform through Envestnet’s affiliate, Envestnet Financial Technologies. Envestnet Inc. has a stake in Advisor Credit Exchange, as well as seats on the company’s board of directors.

Envestment says its wealth management platform is used by more than 106,000 advisers at more than 5,200 companies, including 17 of the 20 largest U.S. banks, 47 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, and hundreds of registered investment advisers and fintech companies.

With interest rates at or near historic lows during the pandemic, mortgage lenders saw their refinancing business boom. If rates inch back up, as expected, much of that business will dry up as borrowers lose the incentive to refinance. In their latest monthly forecast, Fannie Mae economists said they expect mortgage refinancing volume will fall by nearly half next year, to $1.1 trillion.

Guaranteed Rate, which formed a joint venture with residential brokerage @properties last year, was the nation’s eighth largest provider of purchase mortgages in 2020, according to preliminary data analyzed by iEmergent.

Better, which announced in May that it plans to go public through a SPAC merger, says it will look to grow its purchase mortgage business through its real estate brokerage, Better Real Estate LLC, which provides $2,000 in savings on closing costs when homebuyers fund a purchase through Better Mortgage.

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