AN HOMAGE TO THEIR CREATORS
Look, there are books, theses, treatises that can be written on this subject. I am here to cram this into a blog and, as such, you must excuse, in advance, the vast oversimplification of what I am about to write.
An aggregator according to the first definition that showed up in my Google search is: "A website or program that collects related items of content and displays them or links to them."
While a massive oversimplification, I shall attempt to explain why these sites make our world a better, more efficient, place to live and further improve the way we do things.
In my mind, and for purposes of this article, I think of an aggregator site that is akin to something like: Kayak, Cars.com, Match.com. Amazon or MagillaLoans.com. These are cutting edge sites that purport to be agnostic marketplaces for a consumer to use. They consolidate, or aggregate, various prices (people, cars, banks, etc.) from around the web and show the best prices, terms or characteristics of... something. The most salient feature of these sites is for the consumer to somehow believe they are agnostic and/or objective players in the marketplace and thus they will be giving you an unbiased presentation of the item they are aggregating.
A few rudimentary examples:
KAYAK, ORBITZ, TRAVELOCITY:
These sites search all airline (hotel, rental car...) pricing throughout the world and place them in a format based on what the consumer is looking for. Generally speaking, this is from cheapest flights, least amount of stops, or favorite airline. I find these sites wildly helpful in searching for the best prices to fly. However, I also find myself checking their work and going to the carrier's home site to see if there are better deals. These sites are very useful and summarily done away with the travel agent industry. That's right, kids, our parents used to use travel agents to book flights fifteen short years ago.
MATCH.COM, EHARMONY, FARMERS ONLY, ET AL:
While I have never used them (ahem), these sites have saved people a whole lot of time. Back in the old days, people used to go to bars and try to find out about one another by... talking? There would be a lot of trial and error and, if you were lucky, you would find someone with whom you clicked. Now a computer algorithm can do that for you. By putting in the criteria (or type of partner you are seeking), you can save time and be "matched" with someone who meets your specifications. I like to say this saves a lot of "business development" dollars; those dollars you would seemingly spend dating to see if you found the partner of your dreams. It is a faster, more private way to find a partner and does it in a manner that doesn't cause embarrassment or vulnerability.
This is a brand new website that enables a borrower, on any type of loan, to save the three to four months of bank reconnaissance it takes in order to obtain a loan. The loan process in America is rigged against the borrower. A borrower gives a bank every minute detail of his financial life and waits for a bank's underwriter to approve, or disapprove, a loan request. The key is that each bank will tell you they need to pull your credit in order to get you a term sheet (the specifics of the loan they will offer you). While true, you simply can't afford to have four banks pull your credit in hopes of obtaining a term sheet.
That is why the means of obtaining a loan in America are rigged against the borrower. It forces the borrower NOT to do your due diligence and obtain multiple offers... because it is detrimental to your credit to do so. And why would one bank want you to get other competing offers so you could play one offer off the other? Banks want a slam dunk. They want the easy way. And that's the way it has been for many, many years.
Magilla, and these other aggregators, have changed the paradigm completely. They have made what they do wildly more efficient, faster, transparent, and in some cases, way less embarrassing than the way it used to be.
So when you use one of these aggregators, please pay homage to their creators because they are making life easier for all of us.
This post originally appeared on The Whole Magilla and was written by Chris Meyer, co-founder of MagillaLoans.com.