Nationstar Mortgage officially announced its name change to “Mr. Cooper” this week in what appears to be an effort to make a fresh start with a more appealing and consumer friendly image.
At first glance, the name Mr. Cooper sounds strange for a mortgage lender, but it kind of aligns with the hipster mortgage lenders that seem to be making their way to the forefront these days.
Some examples include Clara, SoFi, and Homie, all of which are appealing to Millennials instead of baby boomers, with fresh marketing tactics and less of that stale, serious financial stuff no one seems to be interested in anymore.
Heading down to the bank and sitting down with an associate at a big oak desk doesn’t really fly these days for most people. They’d rather sit at their own desk and shop mortgage rates, learn about loan programs, and apply for a mortgage without speaking to a human. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
What Is Mr. Cooper?
Anyway, the new branding effort by Nationstar is supposed to encapsulate their renewed way of doing business.
They aim to be the “friendliest” and “most trusted” folks in the mortgage business, so we’ll assume the Mr. Cooper moniker is a play on that old-timey nice customer service guy. I’m picturing the milkman of old, or perhaps the friendly neighborhood mailman.
There’s a good chance one of those people in your life was actually named Mr. Cooper. And who could forget the 1990’s TV show “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” which featured a very likeable, friendly ex-NBA star turned P.E. teacher?
Put simply, Nationstar is trying to make mortgages cool again – because they were cool once, right?
It sounds a little like something out of credit card issuer Discover’s playbook, with their quirky customer service ads and customer-first approach.
To put their money where their mouth is, Mr. Cooper has moved all customer service centers back to the United States. That means you’ll hopefully be able to communicate with someone about important loan servicing and payment details. That’s always a plus.
Additionally, they won’t charge online transaction fees for mortgage payments made via the web. Not sure if they used to charge for this option, but if so, that’s a bit outdated. Most lenders will let you pay online free of charge. You might just have to set up a recurring payment from your linked bank account first.
Mr. Cooper Home Rewards Credit Card
Lastly, there will be a Mr. Cooper Home Rewards credit card, which as the name implies, means you’ll be able to turn your credit card rewards into extra mortgage payments.
Basically, rewards earned for normal everyday spending with the card can be applied to the principal balance of your mortgage. That can save you interest.
This isn’t a new concept, but not a lot of credit card issuers don’t offer it. Of course, most card issuers offer cash back, which you could simply deposit into your bank account, and then use to pay off your mortgage early.
The Home Rewards card is just a lot more streamlined, which is a good thing for those who lack discipline.
There definitely seems to be a sea change happening in the mortgage industry. We’ve seen our first e-closing (remote signing of loan docs) and it seems the old brick-and-mortars are taking the mortgage disruptor challenge seriously.
Just ask Chase, which recently unveiled plans for a so-called digital mortgage experience.