Community financial site SmartHippo launches SmartHippo Answers

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Collaborative mortgage lender and rate recommendations bring needed transparency to consumers

SmartHippo, the first-ever website that uses the power of community to help consumers find the best mortgage rates and save money, today launched SmartHippo Answers, a product that gives consumers crowdsourced advice on mortgages. The launch was announced at FinovateStartup in San Francisco.

"SmartHippo Answers is the next in a series of building blocks towards building a transparent marketplace enabling consumers to make better mortgage decisions," said George Favvas, Co-founder and CEO of SmartHippo.

While similar to services like Yahoo! Answers and Mahalo Answers, SmartHippo Answers allows consumers to ask and answer mortgage-related questions. However, it's the first such service where answerers can filter through and recommend specific mortgage lenders.

The first step in SmartHippo's strategy was creating the industry's first -- and still only -- open mortgage rate table where lenders can post rates for free and consumers can search through and comment on lenders and rates anonymously.

"With SmartHippo Answers, consumers who need help can now ask be assisted in a transparent manner, instead of relying on an intermediary," Favvas said. "This is the first Q&A product that lets consumers leverage a community to collaboratively filter mortgage lenders and rates."

The SmartHippo database currently has mortgage rates from over 300 lenders--and growing. Lenders can also join the site and post rates free. Search results are determined by the best rates as well as the best community feedback.

About SmartHippo, Inc.:
SmartHippo.com is the first-ever website that uses the power of community to help consumers find the best mortgage rates and save money. SmartHippo allows any individual to post information and feedback on the rate they received, and to compare rates with other members of the community with similar profiles. Members of SmartHippo can see real rates reported by real consumers, and sort through banks based on feedback posted by other members of the community. The company is privately held with offices in San Francisco and Montreal.

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Kelly Rusk
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