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Surfing is easy. Finding useful information is hard

with thousands of lenders that will assist with both residential and commercial mortgages. Similar to search engines, the site’s EZ-Loan feature allows you to fill out one application, which is routed to five different mortgage companies for rate comparisons. You can also shop for the right mortgage by rate. Like other sites, Mortgage Loanpage has a glossary of terms to help you better understand the basics of the mortgage industry.

With over $1 billion in loans closed, Quicken’s mortgage site is essentially an online loan officer. The site lets you customize your search for the exact loan you are looking for, refinance your current mortgage or consolidate your debt through a loan search interview. The site even determines your adjusted gross monthly income (monthly income minus expenses) for loan eligibility. Since your credit history also comes under close scrutiny when you’re borrowing money, Quicken gives you the option of applying for a credit report so your loan options will be more appropriate to your situation. You will then be able to compare loans that are available to you and apply online.

MSN HomeAdvisor is a premier guide for both current and potential home owners. While it’s not as customizable as Quicken, it’s resource rich. It allows you to conduct a search for homes and apartments that are available on the market in your area and price range. You can get preapproval on loans, reduce your monthly payments by refinancing your mortgage, review the options of a second mortgage and apply
easily online. For first-time home buyers, MSN HomeAdvisor gives you tips on how to budget and suggestions on how to obtain cash for a down payment. Another plus for first-time buyers is the manner in which the site walks you step-by-step through getting started, financing, making an offer on a home and closing. HomeAdvisor will also give you tax advice, explore financing options and assist you in finding a real estate agent in your area.

Rely on InsWeb to help you clear up all insurance uncertainties. Staying true to its mission of linking customers to insurance companies, InsWeb assists you with a variety of insurance products, including auto, term life, individual health, home owners’, renters’ and condominium insurance. The site better serves you by providing a glossary of insurance terms and the answers to FAQs about insurance. InsWeb allows you to read comments from satisfied customers who used the InsWeb system and to read articles written by consumer groups and industry experts to help you select the proper insurance. Compare quotes from insurance companies such as State Farm, John Hancock and American Family Insurance, and apply online.

The Microsoft Network does a fine job of designing a site that offers information catering to everyone’s financial needs. MoneyCentral gives key advice about retirement, wills, money and banking, taxes, smart buying, family finance and investing. MSN also gives step-by-step guides to determining the amount of insurance you need, finding an online bank, filing for a tax extension, avoiding an

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