Bitcoin Mortgage Payments on Horizon for U.S.'s Second-Largest Lender

United Wholesale Mortgage, the second-largest mortgage lender in the U.S., has announced plans to allow customers to make payments in bitcoin.

UWM CEO Mat Ishbia told MoneyWise that the company believes accepting cryptocurrency for monthly payments will increase convenience for some of its nearly 1 million customers. 

UWM has not provided details on how exactly customers will make their payments in crypto, but the lender remains hopeful that they will be able to launch the service by the end of September. 

In order to accept crypto payments, UWM will have to make a few crucial decisions. 

First, the price of Bitcoin in U.S. dollars fluctuates every day (and different crypto exchanges often report different exchange rates) so UWM will have to decide who will provide its exchange rate data. 

Second, the lender will have to decide whether it will accept crypto, and if so, how to safely store it. If UWM decides not to accept crypto directly, it will likely select a third party crypto exchange so consumers can trade their bitcoin in for dollars. 

Using crypto for mortgage payments will not only be complicated for lenders, but potentially consumers as well. 

For those who already hold bitcoin, mortgage payments could be easier to make when the price of bitcoin is high. However, the price of bitcoin has been historically volatile, fluctuating thousands of dollars month to month — and even day to day — which could make the crypto ill-suited for paying a fixed monthly expense like a mortgage. 

UWM is only planning on accepting Bitcoin payments for now, but is looking into accepting Ethereum and other cryptos later on. 

Crypto mortgage payments are a relatively new idea. Toronto-based mortgage brokerage Matrix Mortgage Global announced that it was accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a handful of stablecoins in April. 

Overseas, a bill drafted by the People’s Party in Spain proposed legalizing crypto payments in the real estate sector and mortgage payments, Cointelegraph reported earlier this month. 

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