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First, while there is clear evidence that KFSs improve decision-making quality for home loans, a number of factors outside the laboratory may confound this effect (e.g., information search behaviors, marketing and brand impact and so on).
Given KFSs appear to improve home loan decision quality, the second study investigated the use and provision of KFSs in the field.
First, and most importantly, there was an overwhelming lack of awareness of the existence of KFSs. Second, borrowers tended to rely on third-party advice as the primary source of information for loan choice.
Critically, only one of the 12 borrowers was aware of the existence of KFSs. This borrower (one of the two refinancing participants) had encountered a KFS in a previous loan but had not seen one during her current loan decision.
Two borrowers expressed surprise at not knowing about KFSs given their search efforts:
(Borrower 7) The second key reason that borrowers may not use KFSs is that they tend to rely heavily on third-party advice, undermining the motivation to identify KFS as a possible resource.
He was the one that got me to sign up with Westpac, establish a bank account with Westpac especially for home loans (Borrower 11) The final key barrier to using KFSs was the tendency for borrowers to make the loan decision based on preexisting relationships.
(Borrower 8) In summary, phase 1 identified significant barriers to the use of KFSs in the market.
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