When you’re reviewing Quicken Loans overall, you actually need to look at three different products: Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Loans and Quicken Loans itself. Quicken Loans is the third-largest mortgage lender in the country, right behind Chase and Wells Fargo. It started as a brick-and-mortar lender in 1985, took its business online in 2000 and launched Rocket Mortgage in 2016 with a spectacular Super Bowl ad campaign.
How did they get so large, and how does it work? Quicken streamlined the application process and made closing and other often complex tasks simpler. But that’s not all: Quicken has also expanded into the personal loan space with Rocket Personal Loans. Here’s how they all work.
Quicken Loans at a glance
- Fully online mortgage application process with advisors available
- Instant verification of employment and income for most people
- Fixed mortgage terms from 8 to 30 years
- Offers FHA, USDA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with down payments as low as 3%
- Fast funding for personal loans
- A soft credit check to qualify
- Does not offer home equity or HELOC
- Little to no in-person contact until closing
- Doesn’t consider alternative credit data
- Origination and late fees on personal loan
- No direct payment to lenders option for debt consolidation loans
- No cosigner or secured loan options for personal loans
What’s interesting about Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans started out as a brick and mortar lender, but jumped online early, understanding this was the new way people were going to do business. And it has paid off; with its Rocket Loans product, you can literally get a mortgage approval without talking to a single person on the phone or otherwise until it is time to sign your closing documents.
While for some, this has taken the personal touch out of lending, for others it is the perfect way to get a loan of nearly any kind. There’s no hard sell, and the process is fairly simple. Even if you do have to contact someone over the phone, the process is generally quick and easy.
Now, having expanded into personal loans with Rocket Loans, Quicken offers even more options, with low interest rates and easy applications.
Things to consider
Offering refinancing, home equity, or HELOC products would boost Quicken Loans’ ability to be competitive in the mortgage space and offer consumers more options, however attractive its mortgage and personal loans products may seem. And when it comes to personal loans, there is no cosigner or secured loan option, but there are origination and late fees associated with them, making Rocket Loans potentially more costly than those of other online lenders.
Quicken’s newest product, the Rocket Loan personal loan, sets itself apart from the competition with fast funding. The company claims that 85% of applicants are funded by the following business day. You can get a pre-qualification with a soft credit check and no hard credit check goes into effect until you actually finish the application. Rocket Loan personal loans can be used for debt consolidation, home improvements, emergency home and auto expenses, medical expenses or any large purchase. To qualify, you will need good credit — a score of at least 640 — two years of credit history, a minimum annual income of $24,000 and a maximum debt ratio of 40%.
The origination fee varies from 1-6% of your loan amount, and there is a $15 fee assessed with either a late payment or a failed payment through autopay. You can borrow between $2,000 and $45,000 depending on income, qualifications and the ability to repay.
Mortgage loans are where Quicken started and where they are still one of the most competitive lenders out there. Essentially there are two ways to start the mortgage process: fill out an online application or call Quicken Loans.
Either way, the process is very similar. Through access to payroll records and credit reporting, most of the time Quicken can pull in your income and debt information and verify it right away. This speeds the approval process and decreases the amount of time it takes to get to closing.
Essentially, Quicken Loans offers a non-bank selection of home loans, from FHA to VA, FDA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans. All “non-bank” really means is that with no deposits in checking and savings and other accounts to back mortgages, Quicken finances them by selling them to investors. The biggest investors don’t buy home equity products, which is why Quicken does not offer them.
Origination fees are usually around 0.50% of the total loan and will not exceed 1% even with government-backed loans, which tend to be a little higher. Interest rates of course vary, but you can get a good idea of current rates by keeping an eye on its website.
Of course, like any mortgage lender, you can buy down interest rates, so often the rates listed on their website assume you are going to do so. Typically, borrowers buy down at least half a percent, but to see what each would cost you, and the direct effect that would have on your loan, you’ll have to get pretty specific with a lender about the home you are buying, the amount you are borrowing and what you are putting down. Then you can more accurately determine the cost and the impact of buying down interest rates.
Mortgage refinancing with Rocket Mortgage or Quicken Loans works much the same way that regular mortgages work, and the application process is nearly identical. Just be sure to factor in closing costs and interest buy downs as a total cost of the loan to make sure you are coming out ahead on a refinancing deal.
But if you are seeing interest rates even 2% lower than your current mortgage rate, most of the time a refinancing loan is a good idea depending on how long you have had your mortgage and how much the value of your home has increased during that time. Most borrowers who refinance at least start the process by talking with a loan specialist on the phone.
Home Equity Loans & HELOC
Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans do not offer home equity loans and HELOC products. Competitors like Chase and Wells Fargo offer full banking services, and so are great places to turn for these types of products. It’s unlikely Quicken will ever offer these options unless they change their lending partners to those who purchase them.
Quicken Loans also does not offer auto loans. A better choice would be Capital One, Lightstream or Consumer’s Credit Union, which all offer a variety of auto loans with varying interest rates based on your credit score.
Depending on the cost of a car, you can use a personal loan to purchase a vehicle, but that is usually discouraged by the lender, and interest rates tend to be much higher on an unsecured personal loan rather than a secured auto loan. Be sure to shop around for the best terms and rates.
The final word
Quicken Loans and their Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Personal Loans are not for those who prefer in-person transactions. Everything is done online and over the phone other than signing documents at closing. However, if you are comfortable with an online application process, you’ll get a quicker decision and for most customers a better, smoother mortgage experience. When it comes to personal loans, you might want to do some shopping around, but if you have good credit, pay on time, and don’t anticipate issues with being late, the overall interest rate could lower the cost of your loan even with the origination fees.
Overall, Quicken Loans is a well-known, reliable lender with competitive rates and a variety of options to choose from.