The Reason Women May Be Overpaying on Mortgages

June 17, 2019

Women tend to be less aware of their mortgage options when applying for a loan than men, and that may be causing women to pay thousands of dollars more, according to a new LendingTree study, which tracked Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data.

First-time buyers and repeat borrowers who are women reported being less familiar with all aspects of the mortgage process. Male and female first-time buyers show the largest disparaties when it comes to unfamiliarity with mortgage rates and with different types of loans. “It seems women are paying a higher price to access homeownership than they should,” researchers note in the study.

But while women may show less familiarity with such details, both sexes could stand to improve their knowledge, researchers note. Forty-five percent of women surveyed say they considered more than one lender when choosing a mortgage compared to 51% of men. Studies show that the more borrowers shop around, the more they can save—potentially adding up to thousands of dollars over the life of a 30-year mortgage.

Single women accounted for about 20% of the 7 million home sales in 2018, and researchers say they may have overpaid by more than $1 billion because of failure to shop around for a mortgage. Extra costs for men, according to the study, are about half of that for women, they said. “Understanding home buying and mortgages can be a little daunting, but getting educated about the process can greatly improve a borrower’s experience—and potentially save them substantial sums of money,” researchers note in the study.