-New Web Site Lets Consumers Take Control of Their Finances-
Livonia, Mich. – April 16, 2008 – Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender, introduces Quizzle (www.quizzle.com), the first free, Internet-based tool that gives homeowners a thorough evaluation of their finances, including analyzing their credit, home value and equity, and monthly budget – all without a social security number. The site then assigns a letter grade to each area of the homeowner’s finances, and assigns an overall score.
“Americans are very good at managing their assets, like finding ways to maximize their rate of returns, but most cannot tell you what their credit score is, how it impacts their everyday lives, or how much of their income goes toward paying interest each year,” said Bob Walters, Chief Economist for Quicken Loans.
“The Internet is full of sites that help folks manage their assets, but there really isn’t a tool that provides the big picture of a person’s overall finances including mortgage debt and revolving payments. Quizzle gives users a glimpse into the debt side of their portfolio, while also providing tools and tips to help them improve their Quizzle scores and overall financial health,” Walters said.
“Quizzle helps homeowners analyze their monthly expenses – from big expenses like their monthly mortgage payment to the $10 spent on carry-out – to help them better gauge where their money is going and where they might be able to cut back. The other thing that sets the site apart is that homeowners can get their credit score and review their credit report for accuracy for free, without providing a social security number,” Walters concluded.
Quizzle users are never asked for their social security number, phone number or credit card information. (And any information provided to Quizzle is confidential and will not be shared with other parties.)
The site’s goal is to educate consumers on the important of understanding credit and managing their expenses. While we hope Quizzle users consider Quicken Loans when contemplating a home loan, there is no obligation, nor will they be contacted with mortgage information unless they request it.
Through the program, consumers can confidentially:
• Get a free credit check and report. Quizzle allows users to check their credit scores and review their credit report without entering a social security number (Quizzle instead asks a few personally unique questions) and without any impact to their credit score. It is important for consumers to maintain their credit as it affects many areas of their financial lives, including mortgage, credit card and insurance rates. For this reason, it is also vitally important people identify and correct inaccuracies on their credit report.
• Determine their home’s value and equity. Using an automated valuation model, Quizzle computes the current market value and amount of equity in the user’s home, so they know the true value of what is likely their largest asset.
• Evaluate their mortgage rate and terms. Quizzle analyzes the user’s mortgage in comparison to current rates and programs to make sure they’re in the right mortgage for their individual situation.
• See where their money is going. Quizzle analyzes the user’s monthly budget based on their credit report and information that is input by the consumer. Quizzle uses this information to create personalized charts that help users visualize their monthly expenditures and where they can save money.
• Review their emergency fund. Quizzle evaluates the user’s savings information to ensure they can weather any unexpected pitfalls.
• Financial Health Score Card. Quizzle provides a letter grade for each of these categories and then calculates an overall Quizzle Score, based on a 100 point scale, as a measure of the user’s overall financial health.
“Many people don’t understand how their credit impacts their everyday lives,” said Ann-Marie Murphy, Quizzle’s co-creator. “They understand that credit scores influence the rates they pay on mortgages but don’t realize that their score also determines the rates for things such as credit cards, car loans and even car insurance.
“It’s important for people to learn how their finances, and even small daily purchasing decisions, can have a long-lasting impact on their financial future,” Murphy said.
“This is why Quizzle is such a powerful tool. It demystifies personal finance and helps people better manage their money and debt,” Murphy concluded.
Quizzle is in the first phase of its development. The program’s second phase will include a more robust home valuation tool and an alert feature that allows users to have Quizzle notify them when anything that affects their finances changes. It will also provide information for renters looking to purchase a home.
For a complete financial check-up, visit http://www.quizzle.com/.
# # #