First Internet Bank Expands Mortgage Program

Bank assures customers it has funds to lend
First Internet Bank of Indiana (First IB) today announced that it has expanded its mortgage program to include home equity loans. Both fixed rate term loans as well as lines of credit are available to homeowners in 44 states. First IB’s innovative program will allow most homeowners to review documents online and close on the home equity loan without leaving their home or office.

The announcement comes at a time when some analysts declare credit markets “locked” and label the private banking sector as unwilling to lend. “That’s simply not true,” responded David Becker, President and CEO of First Internet Bank. “First IB, as well as community banks and credit unions across the country, stand ready to lend to well qualified borrowers.”

Octavio Marenzi, head of Oliver Wyman Group’s Celent and author of “Flawed Assumptions about the Credit Crisis,” agrees: “While there is no denying that we are mired in a very serious financial crisis,” Marenzi writes1, “this does not yet appear to have been transformed into a general credit crisis. In aggregate, credit and lending markets appear to be functioning well, and in many cases are actually operating at historically high levels.”

Becker advised that applicants will face a more disciplined lending environment than in past years. “Programs that overextended buyers or put lenders at risk of devalued collateral are no longer available,” he said. “What we’re seeing now is a return, for many financial institutions, to lending basics: solid credit scores, documented income, reliable property values, and sound loan-to-value ratios. These are principles First IB never abandoned.”

First IB began offering first-lien mortgages when it merged with Indianapolis-based Landmark Savings Bank in 2007. A robust online mortgage application and resource center launched earlier this year. Home equity loans, according to Becker, are a natural extension of First IB’s mortgage lending initiatives.

“We believe there is pent-up demand among consumers for home equity loans at competitive rates,” he said. “First IB is poised to capture their business by providing a host of online tools and resources, an easy-to-complete application, and fast turnaround times, all backed by friendly, experienced mortgage professionals.”

About First IB
With over $530 million in assets, First Internet Bank of Indiana (First IB) is the first state-chartered, FDIC-insured institution to operate solely via the Internet and has customers in all 50 states. Services include checking accounts, regular and money market savings accounts with industry-leading interest rates, CDs, and IRAs. First IB also offers mortgages, credit cards, and installment loans. First IB is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Internet Bancorp (OTCBB: FIBP).

1Quote appears in an article entitled “Is There Really A Credit Freeze?” published by USBanker, December 2008.