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Costco, Seller of All Things, Has Begun Selling Home Loans

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Hey, people who want to fall in love, get married, and buy a house: Costco's here to spoon-feed you the American dream. Assuming you've already met the girl, Costco can sell you both a 6.77-carat diamond ring and, now, that home loan. According to CNN Money, the membership warehouse chain has partnered with 11 lenders, including the New Jersey-based First Choice Bank, to offer mortgages. The program has been in testing for a year and is now ready to join other financial benefits available to Costco members, such as health insurance, car insurance, and boat loans.
Per the CNN Money report, here's the detailed mumbo-jumbo about the specifics:

"Much like LendingTree, the site gathers quotes from various lenders. However, there is one key difference. Under the Costco program, the borrower's identity is revealed only after they officially select the lender, said John Alexander, business development director at First Choice. With many other lead-generation sites, the consumer fills out an application and any lender can make an offer and begin sending marketing communications to the applicant without restrictions.

Costco members will still need to do their homework and compare offers, though, said Keith Gumbinger of mortgage information company Even after a year of testing, Costco's service is still new."

There's already some positive feedback arising from the 10,000 mortgages that have been issued so far. One Georgia customer used the program to refinance his house, thereby cutting his monthly payments by $500. "I went in to buy some bottled water, big bags of chips, cereal and some Nutri-Grain bars that I eat on my route," he said. "I saw a home loan brochure on my way out and picked it up."

· Now on Sale at Costco: Mortgages [CNN Money via AOL Real Estate]
· Costco Finance [official site]