Quicken Loans has grown from mortgage industry disrupter to mainstream lender. Founded as a brick-and-mortar lender in 1985, then moving to an online platform in 2000, Quicken Loans gained traction among tech-friendly borrowers.
The introduction of Rocket Mortgage in 2016 with a game-changing Super Bowl commercial put Quicken into orbit. The company redefined the home lending industry and now ranks among the nation’s leading-volume lenders — without having a single branch office.
Whether you work with Quicken Loans by calling, clicking or tapping — here’s what to expect.
AT A GLANCE
- A full complement of mortgage products for buying and refinancing
- The largest FHA lender in the nation; a go-to solution for first-time home buyers
- Minimum credit score of 620 (580 for FHA loans)
Quicken Loans seems to be morphing into Rocket Mortgage
The innovation is overshadowing the innovator. Rocket Mortgage is quickly attaining an industry status that might soon dwarf the name-recognition of its parent — if it hasn’t already.
Any conversation NerdWallet has had with Quicken Loans’ executives is dominated by references to Rocket. But many — Quicken Loans reps say “most” — borrowers still access the lender’s services through traditional means: with a phone call to the legacy brand.
No matter the name plate, the integration between the two channels seems virtually seamless. And that gives users the advantage of choosing how they want to interact with the lender.
Quicken Loans mortgage products
What is the “non-bank” distinction? Like nearly all non-depository lenders, Quicken Loans doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit. Since they don’t have the capital from bank deposits to fund mortgages, non-bank lenders sell loans to investors. The largest investors in the industry — government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — don’t buy home equity loan products.
While Quicken Loans doesn’t offer reverse mortgages, an affiliated company, One Reverse Mortgage, does. Reverse mortgages are typically used by older homeowners to tap the equity in their house for retirement expenses.
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Quicken Loans mortgage process
In spite of all the attention given to home-loan technology, Quicken Loans says the majority of its clients start — and finish — the mortgage process with a banker over the phone. A force of over 3,000 mortgage bankers stand ready to help, says Joel Gurman, executive vice president of mortgage banking.
“From a borrower’s perspective, they’ll have a single point of contact. That licensed banker will be the same person that they speak with throughout the process,” Gurman says.
My Quicken Loans, or MyQL, the original app that served Quicken Loans borrowers, has been retired. Rocket Mortgage now acts as the online link for the paperwork stage of the process.
“When it comes time for that client to review their preapproval letter or their loan application documents, that sort of thing, they’re going to be directed to Rocket Mortgage to sign in and review and e-sign those documents,” says Regis Hadiaris, the Rocket Mortgage product lead.
Rocket can verify employment, income and financial assets by accessing direct deposit information provided by 98% of U.S. financial institutions. That is, if you use direct deposit for your wages. If you don’t, income and employment information can be imported for about 60% of working Americans via employers’ databases.
Gurman says mortgage bankers leverage that same technology, which allows for faster processing and a shorter time getting to the loan closing table.
Quicken Loans fees and mortgage rates
The Quicken Loans mortgage origination fee averages about 0.50% of the loan amount. Government mortgages backed by the FHA, VA or the USDA may be slightly higher, but Quicken Loans says its lender fee won’t exceed 1% of the loan amount.
This excludes discount points that you may decide to purchase to reduce your interest rate.
If you want to get an idea of current interest rates, Quicken has a page listing common loans and interest rates. These are “national” rate estimates and are based on particular loan parameters, such as points due at closing and loan-to-value. They’ll only be in the ballpark for the rate you’ll likely receive.
Lenders often work the assumptions to put a little polish on their rates — and Quicken Loans is no exception. For example, a lender can show a lower interest rate by adding in discount points. The more points paid for, the lower the rate. On the day we checked, Quicken’s interest rate page was showing 1.75, 2.00 and 3.125 points built into the interest rates. That’s high. Borrowers are paying an average of 0.50 points on loans these days, according to the Federal Reserve.
When you get serious about shopping for lenders, you’ll have to provide enough information to get a rate that’s tailored to your circumstances. Then, you can compare loan terms, discount points and lender fees head-to-head. For example, on a $300,000 mortgage, paying for an extra two points would cost you $6,000 at closing.
What Quicken Loans does best
- Ranked highest, or tied for first, for overall customer satisfaction by J.D. Power eight years in a row
- Rocket Mortgage platform features industry-leading technology
Where Quicken Loans falls short
- Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs
- Face-to-face service isn’t available
- Doesn’t consider alternative credit data
Call Quicken Loans at (888) 980-7401.
NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.