“It’s an exclusive product for UWM,” Mat Ishbia, the mortgage lender’s president and CEO, told Mortgage Professional America in a telephone conversation. “Nobody else in the country has this. So UWM has a product that we can provide to our mortgage brokers that no-one else in the country has, so they have a leg up in competing with other mortgage lenders, and, at the same time, they can go into real estate shops and talk about a program that legitimately has no mortgage insurance – not lender pay, not borrower pay, not a cheaper payment. It’s actually no mortgage insurance and a cheaper all-in payment for the consumer.”

Ishbia said the first iteration of the MI (mortgage insurance) buster proved such a hit that people quickly began to ask for the added features introduced this week. “So, we decided to turn on for rates and terms as well,” he said, noting the demand accelerated the feature that was planned for launch right before or after the new year.

“We’ve had so many people using the program and asking about it,” Ishbia said. “It’s creating such a buzz because mortgage brokers are the only ones who have it. It’s creating a lot of buzz from loan officers that aren’t our brokers saying ‘how do you guys have this product? Where’s it from? Can we have access to it?’ And the answer is ‘you gotta be a mortgage broker signed up with UWM’.”

The popularity of the product is rooted in consumers’ aversion to mortgage insurance when putting down less than a 20% down payment on a home, Ishbia explained.

“It’s a differentiator,” he said. “So, for people buying homes it’s always been kind of a tough thing to tell them you have to pay mortgage insurance when you’re putting down less than 20%, and people don’t like that. So, the opportunity to put down 10.01%, basically 10%, and not have mortgage insurance, is a really exciting thing for homeowners. It’s getting people off the fence to go buy a house. Also, on the refinancing side of it, people that already have mortgage insurance now can refinance without mortgage insurance – once again without having to have that 20% equity in their home.”