A built-in simple, transparent and educational understanding of loan costs across borrowers, loan officers and mortgage authorities


Own Up’s current system of displaying costs confuses borrowers. The varying levels of disclosure of costs across different mortgage offers also adds on to a layer of distrust about Own Up charging extra fees, or offers being more expensive. 


My strategy was to inform borrowers about what costs are being charged, who's charging them, and what's the nature of these costs. I saw this as an opportunity to strengthen Own Up’s committment to transparency, as well as serve as a point of knowledge for many borrowers.

︎︎︎The (Current) Experience & It’s Challenges

Qualitative audit

Interviewing Home Advisors about their experiences interacting with customers had a lot to reveal:
✳ Lack of consistency in costs when trying to compare Own Up offers to external offers
✳ Most customers lack a 'Loan Estimate', or its knowledge therof, which is the only standardized document for mortgages that is often used by Home Advisors to compare loan offers
✳ Sometimes people do not have the full picture of their offer from another lender, and on seeing so many costs in our product they tend to get intimidated 

Design audit

︎︎︎The Design Process

Sketching & Ideation My goals during the sketching phase were to determine what would be the best way to present costs so that they would be easily understood by both borrowers and homeadvisors:
✳ Ensuring that categories, nestedness and nature of costs are clear
✳ The structure is comparable to a loan estimate

Pie in the skyWhile working on the desktop version, and combining it with other ongoing projects — I connected the dots and mocked up a much more holistic organization of the cost breakdown modal layout. While the MVP for the sprint remained unaffected, this helped me map out a milestone based approach to connect the different projects — and look at the larger picture.

The Accordion
Continuing to pursue the goal to make costs and definitions more understandable, I explored different approaches of displaying them. With feedback from Home Advisors, I was able to choose the right path — where the meaning of each cost is apparent as well as emphasizing on the most important ones.

The Final outcome
The final structure of the offer details modal takes into account the ease of usage for borrowers as well as mortgage loan officers. The newly added contextual text helps in understanding a general overview of the cost category, with an additional educational point that also points the borrower towards a Loan Estimate.

Next steps

The newly designed offer details modal has been recently launched and would require some time for testing and getting feedback from actual people. I would be most interested in watching some user stories on accordion clicks, and re-visiting with Own Up’s home advisory team to see whether communication has improved on their end.