Unless you win the lottery, you’re probably not going to pay for your dream home with a lump sum of cash you’ve been hiding under your mattress.
So to make homeownership a reality, most Americans have to take out a mortgage—or a loan specifically created for buying a home—from a bank or mortgage lender.
Quicken Loans caters to future and current homeowners who prefer going through this process online instead of in person. And unlike other websites, Quicken Loans doesn’t use brokers.
Quicken Loans is a direct mortgage lender
When you start researching mortgages, be prepared for the bombardment of mortgage brokers offering to research home loans from different companies to guarantee you the lowest rates.
The brokers gather your information and pass it on to mortgage providers, who then constantly call and email you.
On the other hand, Quicken Loans is a direct lender, which means they connect only with their potential borrowers instead of using a middle person such as a mortgage broker. Only the trained experts at Quicken Loans will receive your personal information, eliminating spam emails and phone calls.
Other mortgage lenders also engage in the practice of selling their home loans, which means you could receive approval from one company you trust only to later have to deal with another company you don’t like as much. Quicken Loans never sells their home loans so you won’t have to deal with this headache.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading our review to find out if you should get a mortgage from Quicken Loans.
About Quicken Loans
What are the services offered by Quicken Loans?
Quicken Loans knows mortgages better than any other company because that’s literally all they do.
Here’s what they have to offer future and current homeowners in both conventional and specialized home loans:
Fixed- or Adjustable-Rate Home Loans
Most mortgages are differentiated by two factors: your interest rate and the length of your loan’s term.
Your interest rate can either be fixed, which means it doesn’t ever change for the life of your mortgage; or it can be adjustable, which means it may change after a predetermined amount of time and depending on market conditions.
Let’s talk about how these two differ:
For one, ARMs usually offer the lowest possible interest rates for your initial fixed-rate time period.
Quicken Loans gives borrowers five, seven, or 10 years of this fixed-rate before the interest rate changes.
So if you’re only living in your current or future home for a few years—like if you’re going to flip your house, relocate for work or active duty, or plan to move during retirement—you’ll enjoy super low interest rates for the few years you’ll physically be there, saving a bundle of money.
Though your interest rate may increase after this initial period, Quicken Loans will never raise it by more than 5% of your initial interest rate.
You also can’t get zapped with multiple increases; Quicken Loans will only give you an interest-rate adjustment once a year.
You may even get a lower interest rate depending on how the financial markets are doing.
When you refinance your mortgage, it’s like signing up for a new home loan under different terms.
According to Quicken Loans, homeowners usually decide to refinance their mortgage because they want to:
- Lower their monthly payments
- Pay off their mortgage faster
- Cash out the equity earned on their home
- Consolidate debt
- Earn more from an investment property
So for instance, if you didn’t have the best credit when you first qualified for your mortgage, your steady payments and the equity you’ve earned on your current house may be able to help you qualify for a lower monthly payment, better interest rate, or even a cash-out.
Plus, since interest rates are at an all-time low, you may score a better interest rate after refinancing.
FHA and VA Loans
FHA Loans Help You Qualify for a Mortgage if Your Credit is Less than Perfect
FHA loans are mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), hence the name.
Quicken Loans is the largest FHA lender and has the lowest default rate among FHA originators.
These home loans are much easier to qualify for because you only need a credit score of 580 or better. They also only require a downpayment of as little as 3.5%.
Plus, if you have an FHA loan and think you may be able to save even more money by refinancing, you can take part in Quicken Loans’ fast FHA Streamline refinance option.
VA Loans for Veterans and their Families
Quicken Loans is the leading originator of VA loans, which are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
VA loans help active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families buy the homes of their dreams.
When you qualify for this loan, you’ll be entitled to lower interest rates and you’ll also have the option of buying a home without a down payment.
You can even use your basic housing allowance to pay down your mortgage each month.
If you have a VA home loan and you’re looking to refinance, you can refinance up to 120% of your primary home’s value with Quicken Loans.
Now that you know about Quicken Loans’ home loan options, get ready to be floored by Rocket Mortgage.
What is Rocket Mortgage?
Quicken Loans developed their Rocket Mortgage portal to create the fastest home loan application process on the planet.
To get an idea of your assets and credit info, you used to have to provide your mortgage lender with paystubs and copies of statements from your checking/savings/investment accounts.
Gone are those days with Rocket Mortgage.
Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage has access to 95% of U.S. financial institutions.
Similar to popular finance apps which let you view all your financial data—from bank accounts to credit cards—in one simple platform that travels wherever you go, you’ll log into your accounts via Rocket Mortgage and grant them permission to browse your numbers.
Rocket Mortgage will also ask all three credit bureaus for a copy of your credit score and report.
All this definitely beats having to wrangle these documents and send them over to a lender yourself.
Since the answers are verified electronically online, you won’t wait days, or even hours; you’ll be less than 8 minutes away from receiving an answer about your home loan application.
Worried about giving out this sensitive information online?
Quicken Loans has 24/7 security monitoring and bank-level encryption so your private information is safe.
They also happen to have pretty strict privacy guidelines to make you feel even more comfortable with the online process.
When you’re done answering questions, you’ll see Rocket Mortgage’s “T-Minus” countdown display on the screen while it gathers all the mortgage options you should check out.
Your results will include fixed-rate home loan options with loan terms lasting between eight and 30 years.
To create their self-directed buyer customer base, Rocket Mortgage will give you actual numbers for your potential mortgage payment and interest rate.
Then the fun part begins.
When you choose your potential home loan, you’ll be given a set of customizations, or “buy points”, to fine-tune your choice.
So if you want to see how your monthly payments differ with longer or shorter terms, just try it out!
You’ll see real-time results based on current market conditions.
Quicken Loans President Jay Farner tells CBS News, "If you go to Rocket Mortgage, you can see the interest rates, you can see the fees," he said.
"You can see how changing the interest rates would change your fees."
Now you can price out a home loan with specific details that matter to you: you pick your interest rate, your loan term length, and determine your own amount of points.
If you’re happy with the results, lock in your mortgage rate and submit your application for approval with Rocket Mortgage’s e-sign application.
If you’re approved, you could close on your home loan in as soon as one week.
How are Quicken Loans’ ratings?
Moody’s praised Quicken Loans for their “solid profitability” and the company's “strong market position in the US mortgage market.”
The company branded them with a stable outlook.
S&P also believes in Quicken Loans’ financial stability and gives them solid ratings as well.
Quicken even earned an A+ rating from the BBB—the highest grade any company can earn.
How do you get the services offered by Quicken Loans?
Just start their simple 4 step application process:
To apply for a mortgage with Quicken Loans, you can:
- Apply online right here
- Chat with an online Home Loan Expert
- Speak with a Home Loan Expert over the phone at 1-800-251-9080
Let’s talk about the questions you’re going to be asked no matter which route you choose:
What type of mortgage do you need?
Are you looking to refinance a home you currently own or do you wish to purchase a new home?
What are your home loan goals?
Whether you’re just researching home loan options or already signed a purchase agreement, Quicken Loans wants to know where you’re at so they can offer you the tools, guidance, and expertise to find a home loan that’s right for you.
They’ll also ask for the address of the home you’re refinancing or purchasing so you only see mortgage options that are in compliance with your neighborhood’s home loan regulations.
What do your financials look like?
To determine your borrower eligibility, Quicken Loans needs a peek at your financials.
Answer questions about the purchase price of your home and your estimated down payment.
Then include information like your credit score and indicate if you qualify for a VA loan before you move on to the final step.
Make a formal introduction
Though you’ve already disclosed more information to Quicken Loans than you did on your last date, it’s only when you reach the last step of the application process that Quicken Loans asks for your full name, zip code, phone number, and email address.
Add these key details, submit your application, and wipe the nonexistent sweat off your brow.
If Quicken Loans says you’re a stellar candidate and you meet their eligibility criteria, a Home Loan Expert will contact you and complete the final moves to close on your home, like uploading all your supporting documents (pay stubs, account statements, tax forms, etc.).
Do I qualify for the loans provided?
To determine your eligibility, home loan lenders take a variety of factors into consideration, such as your:
- Credit history
- Estimated down payment (purchase)
- Established equity (refinance)
A combination of any of these factors tilting in a certain direction could get you approved or denied for a mortgage.
For example, if you have a crummy credit score, but you have virtually no debt and a decent income, you may see an approval while your friend with an average credit score and a pile of debt gets denied.
So the easiest obstacle you can overcome before applying for a mortgage is raising your credit score.
Though other lenders have different mandates, Quicken Loans requires a minimum credit score of 620 for all their conventional loans.
But borrowers with credit scores higher than 580 will qualify for FHA home loans.
Unfortunately, Quicken Loans also asks for a minimum 620 credit score for all VA loans even though there’s technically not a minimum score required by the VA.
When you raise your credit score, you not only gain access to other types of mortgage options and sail through approval time, but you’ll also qualify for better interest rates so you save money every month too.
How user friendly is the home loan process at Quicken Loans?
How is the customer service at Quicken Loans?
J.D. Power & Associates’ annual Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study examines customer satisfaction with the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S.
They use six key factors to determine their rankings, including:
- Loan Offerings
- Application/Approval Process
- Problem Resolution
Quicken Loans took home this award every year between 2010–2016.
J.D. Power also runs an annual Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study, which evaluates the performance of mortgage lenders across a different set of factors, such as:
- Billing and Payment
- Escrow Account Administration
- Interaction (Online, Live phone, Automated phone)
Quicken Loans won this honor the last three years (2014–2016).
Is Quicken Loans safe and legitimate to use?
What are Quicken Loan’s strengths?
What are Quicken Loans’ weaknesses?
Frequently Asked Questions about Quicken Loans
- Do I need pre-approval?
While you technically don't need to be preapproved before you start looking for houses to buy, many real estate agents and home sellers prefer that you have one.
First, it signals that you're a serious and well-informed buyer. A preapproval letter is a document from your home lender which states exactly how much house you can afford. This amount is calculated using your specific income, assets, and credit history and ensures that you don't browse houses out of your budget.
Second, when you're pre-approved, you'll never miss out on a home because your home loan application took too long to finalize. You'll speed up negotiations by being one step ahead of potential homebuyers who are just starting the process.
- Can I defer a mortgage payment with Quicken Loans?
A deferment allows you to temporarily skip mortgage payments for an agreed-upon period of time and then add those missed payments to the end of your mortgage term, basically allowing you to pay them later.
If you anticipate a financial hardship that would cause you to miss your mortgage payment—such as an accident, job loss, etc.—it's important to get in touch with your Home Loan Expert sooner rather than later. You may be able to work out a payment system during your financial crisis instead of after you miss a payment.
The consequences of missing a mortgage payment without speaking with a Home Loan Expert include late fees and a credit score nosedive between 90–110 points! Lower credit scores come with their own handful of negative side effects, like higher insurance premiums and added hurdles for mortgage qualification, so you'll want to avoid this at all costs.
- Will I get multiple calls/emails after signing up with Quicken Loans?
Even though Quicken Loans is a direct lender and your information isn't sent to a bunch of random companies, several borrowers have complained about getting added to unrelenting Quicken Loans mailing, calling, and email lists.
While you may not like their eager approach to get in touch, you can always ask to be removed from these lists ASAP, which has worked well for other online reviewers.
- What is Quicken Loans' BBB rating?
Quicken Loans is at the head of the class, earning the BBB's top grade of an A+. And this wasn't just a one-time fluke: they've consistently held this high honor (which isn't easy to accomplish) since they started 32 years ago.
The BBB doesn't evaluate services and products—they determine customer satisfaction and consumer trust levels.
The secret to Quicken Loans' A+ rating lies in the fact that they receive very few complaints for a company of its size. And what few complaints they do receive are resolved immediately and to the satisfaction of their clients.
The BBB looks favorably on companies that take the time to respond to each complaint and keep their complaint resolution stats high, which is why Quicken Loans has proven worthy of their stellar A+ rating.
- Does Quicken Loans run my credit report? Or affect my credit score?
Even though other mortgage lenders and home loan broker sites will give you mortgage rates using a soft credit inquiry, Quicken Loans pulls a hard check on your credit before they'll show you theirs.
A soft check will not impact your credit score; a hard pull will lower your credit score by a few points (but not usually more than 5 points).
Don't let those other sites fool you; even though they're offering a soft pull, you cannot get your home loan approved without biting the bullet on a hard pull at some point.
If you take Quicken Loan's early hard inquiry approach you'll have definitive numbers to work with since they're based on your actual credit history, whereas a soft pull will only give you guesstimates (and why you'll need a hard check later).
Here's the silver lining: If you're hunting for mortgage rates and rack up a ton of hard inquiries, your credit score will only take the brunt of this cumulative activity once, as long as these checks occurred within the same approximate time frame.
- What are the most common complains about Quicken Loans?
There could be more communication: A handful of online reviewers have complained about a lack of communication from Home Loan Experts once their mortgage application has been submitted. Other reviewers have not had any problems communicating with their Home Loan Experts via email or chat so it may just be personal communication preferences.
Rocket Mortgage's minimum credit requirements are too high: Though no firm minimum exists according to the company, many have complained about being denied for a Rocket Mortgage with credit scores under 700.
There's no opportunity for a second mortgage: Quicken Loans does not offer home equity loans or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Other mortgage lenders may allow you to take out a loan and use your home's equity as the collateral when you need cash.
- How did Quicken Loans get started?
Founded in 1985 by Dan Gilbert, his younger brother Gary Gilbert, and their friends Ron Berman, and Lindsay Gross, Quicken Loans (then called Rock Financial) was just like any other mortgage lender. You had to apply for a mortgage at a bank, credit union, or government/private lending agency.
Then the internet came along.
Dan Gilbert had the foresight to close their 28 local lending branches and focus on growing their online portal during the technology and dot.com boom of the 1990s.
However, every state has their own unique laws and regulations regarding mortgages. So the Quicken Loans founders decided to hire staff with experience in local regulations from all over the country.
It was a winning formula. For the first time in more than 30 years, non-bank lenders like Quicken Loans actually gave out more loan money than the big banks.
According to The Wall Street Journal, banks loaned less than half of all U.S. mortgage loan dollars in 2016.
Our Final Review of Quicken Loans
If you use your smartphone to pay for your morning coffee, hail a ride from happy hour, and complete all your banking transactions online, you’re probably going to dig Quicken Loans when choosing a mortgage lender.
Their completely online home loan application process takes the hassle out of dealing with a mortgage lender in person and gives you the convenience to start on your time, wherever you are.
And if you use their Rocket Mortgage option, you’ll literally never have to speak to a representative before receiving a legitimate home loan approval.
The Quicken Loans application process works best for self-directed borrowers who don’t need to ask a Home Loan Expert a ton of questions every step of the way.
However, Quicken Loans’ award-winning customer service and dedicated team won’t be more than a click, email, or phone call away should you be less cool on the tech front than their target audience.
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