Quicken Loans Mortgage Review
Quicken Loans disrupted the mortgage market in the 1990s by giving consumers a simpler way to borrow money for a home purchase or refinance. With no brick-and-mortar offices to operate, Quicken Loans can undercut rates offered by neighborhood banks and other national lenders.
- Simple Online Process
- Great Customer Service
- Dedicated Loan Officer
- No In Person Customer Service
- No HELOC Option
Quicken Loans has transitioned from a mortgage upstart to the biggest mortgage lender in the nation.
Should you use Quicken Loans for your home purchase or refinance?
Let’s take a close look at Quicken Loans in this review to help you answer that question.
In This Article:
What Is Quicken?
Quicken Loans is not a traditional bank with neighborhood branches, checking accounts, and ATM cards.
This lender provides only mortgages and home refinances, and it communicates with its customers exclusively over the phone or online.
Back in 2015, Quicken Loans launched Rocket Mortgage as an online-only portal for mortgage borrowers.
Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans share the same underwriting guidelines and offer the same loans.
Quicken Loans disrupted the mortgage market in the 1990s by giving consumers a simpler way to borrow money for a home purchase or refinance.
With no brick-and-mortar offices to operate, Quicken could also undercut rates offered by neighborhood banks and other national lenders.
Now, Quicken Loans and its subsidiary Rocket Mortgage have become mainstream, finalizing more loans than any other lender in 2018 and 2019.
You can still complete the borrowing process over the phone through Quicken Loans, or you can use Rocket Mortgage’s all-online application process.
Both avenues give you access to a full line of mortgage loans:
- Fixed Conventional Mortgages: These loans are not backed by the federal government and usually require a 620 or higher credit score and a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 43 percent. Quicken offers 15 and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARM): ARMs start with a fixed rate but, after an introductory period, the interest rate begins to fluctuate with the market. Quicken has fixed introductory periods of 5, 7, or 10 years. You’d need a credit score of at least 620 to qualify.
- Federally Subsidized Loans: Quicken Loans issues Federal Housing Authority and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans which open the door to borrowers who have credit scores as low as 580 and less money available for a down payment.
- Quicken VA Loans: Quicken lends through the federal Department of Veterans Affairs which helps veterans become homeowners, often with no down payment required.
- Jumbo Loans: Buyers of high value homes who need larger mortgages may need a jumbo mortgage from Quicken.
- Quicken Loans Refinance: You can refinance your home through Quicken Loans but you can’t get a home equity line of credit or a home equity loan.
- 1% Down: Quicken has a special loan allowing qualified buyers to pay only 1 percent down.
- Yourgage: This program specific to Quicken lets you customize your loan’s terms between 8 and 29 years. This kind of flexibility can be hard to find elsewhere in the market.
As you go through the lending process, you will be guided by a dedicated loan officer which creates some continuity most borrowers need.
Quicken Loans Rates
Be sure to use these rates as a reference point only; your rate will be determined by your creditworthiness and the kind of loan you need:
- Credit Score: Higher scores unlock lower rates.
- Debt-to-Income Ratio: If you don’t have much debt compared to your income, you can usually access better rates.
- Loan Term: A 30-year fixed mortgage usually has a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed.
- Loan Type: An adjustable rate mortgage often starts at a lower interest rate than a fixed rate mortgage. A conventional loan will have different rates than an FHA or other subsidized loan.
- Down Payment: Putting at least 20 percent down on your home can lead to lower rates; you’ll also avoid paying mortgage insurance (PMI).
Quicken Loans Fees
Like all lenders, Quicken Loans charges a loan origination fee and requires borrowers to pay for the home appraisal upfront.
- Quicken Loans Origination Fees: Quicken Loans itself won’t charge more than 1 percent of the loan amount in origination fees. Some loans require only 0.5 percent of the loan amount.
- Quicken Loans Good Faith Deposit: If you choose to work with Quicken you’ll need to pay a deposit to cover expenses such as your home’s appraisal. The appraisal tells the lender whether the house is worth the money it is lending you. If you complete the loan application process and close on your home, you should get credit for this deposit at closing.
Quicken’s fees do not include charges assessed by your lending program.
- Federal Lending Fees: The Department of Veterans Affairs backs loans for veterans, for example, and usually charges its own origination fee. While expensive, this fee is usually a good investment for veterans since VA loans do not require down payments or PMI.
- PMI for FHA & USDA Loans: Quicken Loans is authorized to lend through the FHA and USDA programs. These programs help people with lower credit scores and lower down payments access the housing market. However, these loans now require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) throughout the life of the loan. PMI usually adds $100 or so to your monthly house payment and it protects your lender in case you default on the loan.
- PMI for Conventional Loans: Conventional loan borrowers who put less than 20 percent down will also pay PMI premiums. You can cancel PMI when your loan balance reaches 80 percent of its original amount.
Quicken Loans Discount Points
In many states, Quicken Loans lets borrowers buy discount points to lower their mortgage’s interest rate which has the potential to create long-term savings.
A mortgage discount point costs 1 percent of the loan’s value and can lower your interest rate by 0.25 percent.
For a $150,000 home, a point would cost $1,500. So buying two points would cost $3,000, paid to the lender at closing. In exchange, you could shave 0.5 percent from your interest rate.
If you keep the home (and its original loan) long enough, this extra $3,000 spent at closing could result in much more savings in interest over the decades.
But if you sell the home or refinance the loan within the first few years you’d likely lose money.
Most of the time you should not take money from your down payment to buy discount points, especially if the resulting lower down payment would require you to pay PMI premiums on the loan.
Getting started with your loan process, whether you plan to finalize a mortgage with Quicken or just to get an individualized quote from the lender, is seamless online or over the phone.
On Quicken Loans online site, your answers to a few simple questions will direct you to the right kind of loan. Then you’ll be prompted to enter your phone number and email address.
Quicken Loans will use your phone number and email address to get in touch with you about your borrowing needs. If you’d rather not be contacted, don’t submit this information.
On each screen, the site shows Quicken Loans’ phone number so you can call to discuss your application. Each page also includes a link to Rocket Mortgage if you’d rather start an all-online application.
Quicken Loans has some nice automated features. For example, the lender can confirm your income electronically which is much easier than uploading pay stubs or W2s.
And both methods match your application with a dedicated loan officer to guide you through each step along the way.
Once you complete your application, Quicken Loans will do a hard check of your credit and make an offer on a loan. If you decide to continue, you’ll be prompted to pay the good faith deposit discussed above in the section about fees.
At this point you’ll have access to Quicken Loans’ MyQL online dashboard to help track your progress and take the next steps.
Is Quicken Loans Safe?
You share a lot of personal information when you apply for a mortgage: your income, your Social Security number, your bank statements.
Quicken Loans pledges never to sell or share your data with anyone, and the lender is large enough to have industry-standard cybersecurity measures.
Of course, there’s no way to predict where the next data breach will strike. But this is true for any lender. Your data should be as secure with Quicken as it is with any other leading national lender.
Quicken Loans Customer Service
Quicken Loans customer service stands out in the industry by necessity. Because it has no face-to-face interaction with its customers, Quicken had little choice but to develop proactive ways to serve customers online and over the phone.
When you apply for a loan, you’ll be assigned a dedicated loan officer to guide you through the process from pre-approval to closing.
And, Quicken has developed seamless ways to share documents and sign forms electronically. Their apps are sleek and reliable, though some customers have reported difficulty changing their automatic payments via the app.
The most frequent complaints about Quicken center around its sales practices. You may get phone calls asking whether you’re ready to refinance the loan, for example.
Or, if you get a quote from Quicken but choose another lender, Quicken will continue contacting you about the loan. In these cases, you can unsubscribe from Quicken’s emails and ask to be removed from the call list.
Overall, Quicken works best when you stay on the prescribed plan. The lender has developed a safe and reliable path to finalizing a mortgage. For most customers, this level of predictability can be reassuring.
But customers who need to deviate from this pre-arranged path can encounter delays. For instance, if you decide after preauthorization to double your down payment, or to direct part of your down payment to discount points instead, it may take a couple of days to get back on track.
Pros & Cons of Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans has grown into a standard for mortgage origination and refinancing, but it’s not best for all borrowers. If one of the company’s cons aligns with one of your primary needs, you should shop elsewhere.
- Simplicity: Quicken Loans condenses the complex process of getting a mortgage into easy-to-follow steps. You can even confirm your employment and income in real time.
- Dedicated officer: Your assigned loan officer gives you continuity as you complete the process.
- Competitive rates: Quicken can still beat the lowest rates of many large banks.
- Variety of loans: Quicken has all of the major mortgage products and a way to customize your own loan term through its Yourgage plan.
- Customer service: You can speak with, chat with, or email customer service any time over the phone or online.
- No in-person customer service: Customers who want to have a face-to-face conversation about their mortgage needs should look for a neighborhood bank or credit union.
- No home equity loans: You can get a cash-out refinance, but Quicken does not offer second mortgages or home equity lines of credit.
- Somewhat absolute: Nuance doesn’t always fit into Quicken’s easy-to-follow steps. If your debt-to-income ratio or your credit score doesn’t quite match the requirements, expect a denial. Other lenders may be more likely to consider alternative forms of underwriting.
Quicken Loans FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about doing business with Quicken Loans:
How much does Quicken Loans charge for closing costs?
Quicken Loans itself charges no more than 1 percent of your loan as an origination fee. However, this fee will comprise only a small part of your closing costs.
Closing costs also pay for:
- Attorney’s fees
- Title search and transfer fees
- Title insurance
- Taxes and insurance.
Overall, closing costs tend to equal 3 to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price.
What does your credit score have to be for Quicken Loans?
Conventional loans with Quicken require a credit score of 620.
Subsidized loans such as FHA mortgages may require only 580.
Quicken typically requires a 43 percent maximum debt-to-income ratio.
Does Quicken Loans have hidden fees?
No, Quicken Loans tend to be transparent about what they charge. However, you may face loan-specific fees required by the government on a VA loan or another subsidized lending program accessed through Quicken.
Does Quicken Loans require a downpayment?
Down payment requirements vary from loan to loan. It is possible to pay as little as 1 percent down on a Quicken Loans mortgage. VA loans do not require money down on your mortgage.
Alternatives to Quicken Loans
Comparing mortgage rates is key to finding the best deal. If you’re considering Quicken Loans you may also want to look into a loan from:
- Credible: Credible connects your application with several lenders to help you compare rates.
- Chase: Chase combines the best of in-person and online access to mortgages.
- LoanDepot: If you’re building a new home or restoring a home, LoanDepot can help.
- SoFi: High earners who don’t have an established credit history will like SoFi’s underwriting.
- Lending Tree: Another aggregator like Credible, LendingTree is here to help you compare loan offers from a variety of lenders.
Is Quicken Loans For You?
Quicken Loans continues to grow and become a leader in mortgage originations. If you’re shopping for a home, Quicken may already be on your short list.
Quicken Loans should be a great partner for anyone who needs an easy way to access a straightforward mortgage loan.
If you have more complex needs or you’d like a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage, you’ll need to keep shopping.
And, if you’d prefer to have a face-to-face conversation about your mortgage, look for another lender.