A mortgage Web site that shows mortgage prices posted by participating lenders, in some cases hundreds of them.
Referral sites are similar to newspapers in that lenders and brokers pay for the privilege of posting their mortgage prices on the site. However, they provide more information than newspapers. At least some of the price information on referral sites, furthermore, is posted on the day the user looks at the screen, whereas all price information in newspapers is obsolete when it is published. Some referral sites are Bankrate.com, BestRate.com, CompareInterestRates.com, Domania.com, Interest.com, and LoanPage.com.
For referral sites to be useful, shoppers must be able to select the lenders quoting the best prices, then visit the Web sites of each of them to make a final selection. This won't work for ARMs because the referral sites don't provide complete information about ARMs. While they do provide complete price information about fixed-rate mortgages, the process breaks down when the lender's own Web site is poor. I found that some of the lenders quoting the best prices on the referral sites were either quoting higher prices on their own sites or not providing complete information.