Rocket Mortgage Review 2020

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Rocket Mortgage

Overall Rating

9.5

Bottom Line

Rocket Mortgage is a division of Quicken Loans, which is the nation’s highest-volume mortgage lender, offering new purchase and refinance loan options. Their easy to use loan application process makes purchasing or refinancing a home a breeze!

Pros

  • Easy Loan Application Process
  • Fast Approvals
  • Great Mobile App
  • Great Customer Support

Cons

  • No In Person Communication
  • No HELOC Options

Application Process

10.0

Approval Process

10.0

Rates

9.0

Options

9.0

Rocket Mortgage is the online mortgage lending division of Quicken Loans.rocket mortgage

As one of the first to offer online-only mortgage approvals, the company is a significant disrupter to the traditionally slow-moving mortgage lending space.

Mortgages are not all that simple, however. As such, there are some additional things you’ll need to consider if you’re hoping to get a loan from Rocket Mortgage.

In this post, I’m going to take a deep dive into everything that Rocket Mortgage has to offer, including how the service works, the pros and cons of being a customer, and more.

Let’s get down to some mortgage business.

What is Rocket Mortgage?

Rocket Mortgage is an online mortgage lender and refinancing provider. The company is backed by Quicken Loans, which is headquartered in Detroit.

Quicken Loans is not only Detroit’s largest employer, but it’s also America’s top mortgage lender and largest facilitator of online mortgages—thanks in part to its intuitive Rocket Mortgage product.

Rocket Mortgage Loans for Buying a Home

As you might expect, the company’s most popular product is home mortgages.

To get started, visit this link and select the option that makes the most sense for your situation.

If you’ve already found a property, Rocket Mortgage is going to be one of the quickest ways to obtain a pre-approval letter (which is required to make an offer).

If you’re still house-hunting, you’re advised to establish a relationship with your lender (whether its Rocket Mortgage or someone else) so that you are fully prepared to make an offer once you find your dream home.

As you may be aware, the best real estate deals typically sell on the first showings, so it really can make a difference to have your financial ducks in a row. The last thing you want is to end up in a situation where you really want to buy a home, only to lose it to someone else who’s been pre-approved for a mortgage.

As with most lenders, Rocket Mortgage offers several types of mortgages:

Conventional, Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Fixed-rate is the most common type of mortgage loan. Your loan term will be either 15 or 30 years and includes a fixed interest rate (i.e., one that won’t fluctuate over the life of the loan).

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARM)

An ARM loan typically offers the benefit of a low-interest rate out of the gate but also comes with the uncertainty that your rate might increase down the road.

Depending on the type of ARM loan you have, your rate will be adjusted either annually (traditional ARM), every five years (5-year ARM), or every seven years (7-year ARM).

While these types of loans can be risky, you may be able to benefit if you play your cards right. For example, if you get a 7-year ARM but know you’re going to move in three years, you may be able to save some cash upfront.

Jumbo Loans

Mortgages are typically considered jumbo loans when the borrowed amount exceeds the conventional loan limits set forth by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

Jumbo loans are most commonly found in areas with super-high real estate prices—like San Francisco, for example—where it might be more challenging to save up a 20% down payment.

While I don’t recommend taking out such a massive loan, Rocket Mortgages can help you with that process if you’re so inclined.

FHA loans

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or have a low credit score, you might qualify for an FHA loan, which is backed by the government to spur housing investment.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Loans

If you’re active-duty military or a service veteran, you might qualify for a VA loan.

I’m reading that some VA loans require a very low down payment, and in some cases, you might not even have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Rocket Mortgage Refinancing

If you’re already locked into a mortgage but would like some extra money for renovations or think you can get a better interest rate, Rocket Mortgage offers refinancing for whatever your reason may be:

Home Renovations

If you’d like some extra cash for home renovations or to pay down high-interest debt, you can refinance your mortgage with Rocket Mortgage.

On a basic level, this is borrowing extra cash on top of your mortgage, using your house as collateral.

Pro Tip: I don’t recommend doing this unless you’re faced with an extreme situation—like if your roof is about to collapse and you simply don’t have the money to pay for it. In my opinion, getting a shiny new bathroom is not worth adding potentially several years of mortgage payments to your financial burden.

Lower Your Monthly Payment

If you would like to decrease the amount of money you spend each month on your mortgage, refinancing might be a good option.

In some cases, you might be able to get a better interest rate than you previously locked in when you signed up for your first mortgage.

Your home’s value may also have an impact on how much equity you have, which also might affect how much money you owe to the bank.

Shorter Loan Terms

If you want to pay off your loan sooner than your current mortgage end date, Rocket Mortgage has you covered.

This might mean that your monthly payments go up, but you’ll most likely pay less interest over time.

Pro Tip: Paying off your mortgage is one of the main hurdles to financial freedom. Unfortunately, many people will never see this day due to their spending habits. If you can afford to pay off your mortgage early, by all means, go for it!

Rocket Mortgage Apps

Rocket Mortgage’s mobile apps allow you to do things that, in the past, could only be done at a brick-and-mortar bank or mortgage lender.

For example, to expedite the approval process, you can upload important documents—like your paystub and W2s. You can even e-sign your mortgage application right from your phone.

What’s more, the company’s apps have some of the best ratings I have seen across any financial product. In the App Store, Rocket Mortgage has a 4.8-star rating (out of 5) with over 54,000 reviews. In the Google Play Store, the app is similarly well-rated at 4.7 stars (out of 5).

rocket mortgage app

Rocket Mortgage Resources

Are you the type of person that likes to research things online before diving in? If so, you’re sure to appreciate Rocket Mortgage’s Resources section, which contains dozens of helpful articles about buying a home, refinancing, and how mortgages work.

There’s even a Mortgage Calculator and Refinance Calculator—both of which can help you estimate monthly payment amounts based on your loan amount, down payment, and interest rate.

Rocket Mortgage Pricing and Fees

Rocket Mortgage is free to sign up for and get a preliminary quote from. If you decide to move forward with a mortgage, there are various types of fees—like origination fees, closing costs, application fees, underwriting fees, and more.

Mortgage lending is a huge business, and Rocket Mortgage makes its lump-sum by charging interest rates on mortgages. In 2018, it was estimated that in the U.S., over $15 trillion of mortgage debt exists. When you consider that the average mortgage interest rate for a 30-year fixed loan is currently somewhere between 3.5% and 4%, you can start to imagine how much money lenders (like Rocket Mortgage) are making each year.

To view the interest rates that Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans are currently offering, check out their website.

Signing Up and Getting Started

One of the coolest features of Rocket Mortgage is how easy it is to sign up. The company’s online-only registration and approval process is a game-changer.

To get started, you’ll first have to create an account by entering your first name, last name, email address, and password.

Next, you’ll need to verify your email address. Once that’s done, you’re all set!

Your account is ready to go, and you can start the mortgage application process.

The online application process is also straightforward. You just have to enter your basic personal details—such as your address and household income.

You’ll also have to answer a few additional questions about your credit score, all outstanding debts. All told, it could take you under 10 minutes to get a pre-approval. Not too shabby!

Rocket Mortgage Security

Rocket Mortgage is backed by Quicken Loans, which has a very robust security and data privacy platform. Some of the security features that they use include SSL transaction protocol and leading-edge 128-bit encryption technology.

Seeing that Quicken Loans employs over 24,000 people, you can rest assured that they have a dedicated security team that’s working around the clock to keep your data safe.

Customer Service and Support

Overall, Rocket Mortgage (and Quicken Loans) are known for offering solid customer support.

Existing or pending customers have phone support access from Monday through Saturday at 1-888-452-8179. New customers can reach an agent Monday through Sunday at  1-800-689-9155.

Live chat is also available seven days a week. For more details about their live chat call center hours, visit their Talk to Us page.

Pros and Cons of Rocket Mortgage

Pros

  • Very easy-to-use loan application process
  • Super fast; you can literally get pre-approved within 10 minutes
  • Amazing mobile apps that make it even easier to apply for a mortgage
  • Flexible customer support options

Cons

  • You might be able to negotiate a better deal with a smaller in-person lender
  • Cannot be used for many multi-family commercial properties
  • No brick-and-mortar branches

Alternatives to Rocket Mortgage

There are several online-only mortgage lenders. However, none of them are as large as Rocket Mortgage, which makes sense because it’s backed by Quicken Loans.

In any case, some of the most popular online mortgage brokers include:

Rocket Mortgage FAQs

What is the Minimum Credit Score for Rocket Mortgage?

For a conventional loan, you’ll need a score of at least 620. You might qualify for a conventional loan with a score lower than 620, but in that case, you’ll probably be looking at a high-interest rate. For a VA loan, Rocket Mortgage requires a score of 620 or better. For an FHA loan, you’ll need a score of 580 or better.

How Does Rocket Mortgage Work?

Rocket Mortgage is an online mortgage lender. Once you sign up for an account, you can apply for a loan. Then you’ll know whether you have been approved. If you are approved and move forward with the loan, Rocket Mortgage will lend you money and charge interest just like a traditional mortgage lender.

Is Quicken Loans the Same as Rocket Mortgage?

Yes. They are the same company. Quicken Loans owns Rocket Mortgage. Quicken Loans is the largest mortgage lender in the U.S.

Is Rocket Mortgage a Hard Inquiry?

Applying for a mortgage with Rocket Mortgage, or with any lender, requires a hard credit pull. This is because the lender has to verify your income and conduct a detailed review of your credit history.

If you’re curious about your credit score is—and you should know your credit score before applying for a mortgage—I recommend checking it for free at a site like AnnualCreditReport.com or Credit Karma.

So, Is Rocket Mortgage the Best Option for Me?

If you’re the type of person that likes to do things online, and you like to get things done quickly, Rocket Mortgage is probably a good option. Let’s say you just found your dream house and you’d like to make an offer before leaving the showing. You could conceivably get a pre-approval from Rocket Mortgage right over the phone before the appointment with your realtor wraps up.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to invest in a multi-family unit or non-traditional property, Rocket Mortgage is probably not for you. (To read about my real estate investing tips, check this out.)

If you’re the type of person that prefers face-to-face interactions, you might prefer to work with a local lender in your area. You also might have more negotiating ability with a smaller lender than you might have with Rocket Mortgage.

Let’s call it like it is: Buying a home is one of the most stressful processes that you’ll ever go through. But it’s also one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. When you own your own home, each mortgage payment you make brings you one step closer to financial freedom. (Did I mention that I wrote a book called Financial Freedom?)

Whichever mortgage lender you choose, make sure to do your homework and save up a good down payment to keep your monthly payments down.

Happy house hunting!

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