About HSH

OUR HISTORY

For over 35 years, HSH conducted the nation's largest editorial mortgage rate survey, at times gathering rates from thousands of retail mortgage lenders across the country each week. Changing industry and consumer information needs amid a nearly complete restructuring of the mortgage industry led to the discontinuation of this component of HSH in 2016.

HSH.com, our consumer-facing website, continues unaffected by this, and our mission of being the most complete, objective and authoritative place for mortgage information, mortgage calculators, tools, help and expertise remains fully intact.

Since our beginnings, HSH has been a consumerist organization. Our extensive library of must-know articles is at your disposal, free of charge, as are our expert-level calculators and tools, and in our pages you'll find the same objective advice we've offered since HSH was founded in 1979.

Data and the markets

For decades, HSH data and insight were used by virtually every entity in the mortgage business, including regulators like the FHFA, secondary market makers like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation's largest banks and independent mortgage companies and local and regional lenders. We also marketed our survey data directly to consumers as a portion of our award-winning Homebuyer's Mortgage Kit, which at one time was ranked as "One of the Hundred Best Deals in America" by Money Magazine.

The Residential Mortgage Update was our flagship survey product for many years, listing rates and terms from dozens (or even hundreds) of lenders with current rates and terms for a range of popular (and sometimes esoteric) mortgage products. Various editions of our Mortgage Trends charts and Statistical Releases appeared widely in major news media, and our weekly MarketTrends newsletter was a leading source of news and analysis about mortgages and mortgage markets, as it still is today.

HSH is an innovator

HSH was a participant in early efforts to narrowcast information and data streams into residences as a component of Time/Life TeleText services.
01 Consumer publications

Our earliest consumer products offered plain-language interpretations and guidance to homebuyers and homeowners alike. HSH's "Mortgage News Alerts", "Guide to Mortgage Types and Definitions" and "ARM Index Comparison Table" were authoritative works comprised of matter-of-fact details and hard-to-find information. These helped tens of thousands of consumers and professionals gain knowledge about a quickly changing mortgage market. Better still, we offered them for the cost of a postage stamp. Later came booklets and guides covering refinancing, mortgage fees and choices, prepayment, home equity and more.

02 Homebuyer's Mortgage Kit

Originally a series of pamphlets, booklets and a local survey, the HMK evolved from into a 32-page, then 36, 44, 48 and finally 56-page "How to Shop for a Mortgage" booklet crammed full of information and expertise about some very complex topics written in easy-to-understand language. Hundreds of thousands of HMKs were sold in the 25+ years they were available. Coupled with a local survey of mortgage lender rates and terms, consumers reported to us that they easily recovered the $12 to $20 purchase price just by finding a lender with a lower fee due at application, let alone tens of thousands of dollars in interest cost over time. You can now find the HMK disseminated in the articles, tables and tools that are the heart of HSH.com

03 Hotlines

Before it was commonplace, we operated 24-hour telephone hotlines for the latest information about mortgage rates and ARM indexes using the latest voice technology of the day.

04 PointSaver

For the benefit of consumers and lenders alike, HSH created PointSaver, a system where lenders listed in our reports offered premiums such as lender fee reductions and more directly to mortgage shoppers who purchased a Homebuyer's Mortgage Kit or survey product. We intermediated between consumers who filled out inquiry coupons for lenders, faxed them to HSH (pre email days), and provided them solely to the consumer's chosen lenders. We also acted to ensure that offers were completed.

05 BBS Systems

As personal computers with modems began to become widely adopted, HSH created and maintained bulletin-board systems (BBS) to allow tech-savvy clients and consumers access to our data at their fingertips, and our information was made available to real estate professionals via closed MLS systems.

06 PC Mortgage Update

HSH also developed and marketed the first stand-alone personal computer based mortgage shopping software package for professionals and consumers. Distributed on diskette, PC Mortgage Update included expert tutorials about mortgages, a mortgage calculator and a local database of lenders with mortgage rates and terms. Consumers could sift through hundreds of quotes and select a loan that fit their needs; professionals could see their competition at a glance. A unique dialup and download component allowed users to get fresh info with a single touch of a button.

07 AOL and the internet

When "going online" meant dialing up AOL, HSH was there. Our statistics, rate charts and articles were all portions of AOL's earliest real estate channels. HSH was also an early adopter of the internet, as can be seen in our simple, three-letter domain name, first registered in the early 1990s. We were perhaps the first place to find mortgage information, calculators and more on the internet. If you are interested, some of our earliest websites can be seen in the Internet Archive (we're pretty sure our first website attempts predate the IA, too).

08 LiveEdit

LiveEdit was our unique platform that allowed lenders to update their advertising and interest rate displays without the help of web developers. LiveEdit allowed users to log in, change text, upload rates and more without any technical expertise, and right from their desktop or laptop computer. When introduced, such capability was virtually unheard of, and LiveEdit was a key feature of HSH's Lender Showcases.

Modern Innovation

HSH continues to innovate using the latest tools and technology. In recent years, our focus has been on bringing professional-level and unique calculators to consumers, including our PMI Cost Calculator, Tri-Refi Calculator, KnowEquity underwater mortgage calculators, Prepayment::Refinance (PreFi) calculator, LowerRate, RoundUp, It's My Term prepayment calculators, FeePayBestWay, Downpayment Decisioner and others.

Our ability to turn raw numbers into valuable information can be seen in each quarter's "Salary you need to buy a home in 50 metro areas", where we dig into home prices, current mortgage rates, tax and insurance costs to provide a solid reckoning of the income needed to buy a median-priced home in major metropolitan areas across the country.

For homeowners, we developed a unique home-value estimator tool called MyHPI using home price data from an authoritative government source, users can calculate what's happened to the value of their home in the time period they have owned it. MyHPI covers 100 metropolitan markets around the country.

Professional-level and unique calculators to consumers View all calculators

Our relationships with major media

HSH data and expertise has been seen or featured in thousands of interviews in print, video and electronic media
electronic media
How Much Do You Need to Make?
electronic media
How Much You Need To Earn To Buy A Home In America Today
electronic media
This new home-equity tool is like CreditKarma for home value
electronic media
10 Cities Where You Can Own A Home For About $1,000 A Month

Our team

The consumer-credit and mortgage markets insiders
Keith
Keith Gumbinger Vice President, HSH.com A 30-year expert observer of the mortgage and consumer debt markets, Keith has been cited in tens of thousands of articles covering a wide range of consumer finance topics.