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Quicken Mortgage Review 2020

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Online mortgage lender Quicken Loans is the largest home loan originator in the United States by loan volume, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Founded by Dan Gilbert in 1985 as Rock Financial, the company became known as Quicken Loans in 1999. In 2015, Quicken Loans launched Rocket Mortgage, the industry’s first fully online mortgage application experience.

Today, borrowers can apply for a loan, submit their financial documents and lock in their interest rates in as few as eight minutes through Rocket Mortgage’s digital tools, without speaking to loan officers. However, there are chat and call options for those who prefer to work directly with a person.

Pros and cons of a Quicken Loans mortgage

Pros

  • Provides entire mortgage application and disclosure process online
  • Provides eClosing options in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
  • Offers FHA loans for borrowers with lower credit and smaller down payments
  • Offers VA loans to servicemembers, veterans and their families
  • Offers Jumbo mortgages for those who need a larger loan amount
  • Accepts low down payments
  • Offers loan terms ranging from 8 to 29 years with the company’s YOURgage program
  • Has an extensive learning center on its website with easy-to-use calculators and educational articles
  • Enables voice-activated payments through Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • Doesn’t have in-person branches if you prefer face-to-face contact
  • Doesn’t offer USDA loans at this time
  • Doesn’t currently offer conventional adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)
  • Doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit

Working with Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans is licensed to offer mortgages in all 50 states. As an online mortgage lender, it doesn’t operate in-person branches, and instead works with borrowers exclusively online or on the phone.

The company is the largest mortgage lender in the U.S. by closed loan volume and closed approximately $145 billion in mortgage loans in 2019, according to its website.

Quicken Loans mortgage borrowing requirements

Borrowers must have a minimum 580 credit score and a 3.5% down payment to qualify for a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with Quicken Loans. To qualify for a VA or conventional mortgage, as well as for Quicken Loans’ proprietary YOURgage® program, your credit score must be 620 or higher. You may be able to get a Quicken Loans mortgage with a down payment of as little as 0% for VA loans and 3% for conventional mortgages.

Quicken Loans offers mortgages for the following types of properties:

  • Single-family homes
  • Multifamily homes with up to four units
  • Condominiums
  • Townhouses
  • Second/vacation homes
  • Investment properties
  • Co-ops (New York only)

Quicken Loans doesn’t finance manufactured homes.

Quicken Loans mortgage products

Quicken Loans offers conventional, FHA and jumbo mortgage loans, as well as loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The company offers fixed-rate mortgages with the traditional 15- and 30-year terms. Through Quicken Loans’ YOURgage program, borrowers can choose from a repayment period of 8 to 29 years.

The lender appears to have removed some offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the company’s website, it stopped issuing conventional adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) in April 2020, though it may offer ARMs under other mortgage programs. It also stopped accepting applications for mortgages guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in July 2020.

Purchase

To qualify for Quicken Loans’ conventional mortgage, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 and a down payment of at least 3%.

Conventional loans. To qualify for Quicken Loans’ conventional mortgages, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 and a down payment of at least 3%. Conventional mortgages with Quicken Loans require a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 50% or less.

VA loans. VA lenders typically require a minimum 620 credit score, although the VA loan allows you to get a mortgage with no down payment. The DTI limit for a VA loan goes as high as 45%.

FHA loans. For FHA loans, your credit score must be 580 and you need a DTI ratio of 31% or less. The program allows you to make a down payment of at least 3.5%.

Jumbo loans. Quicken Loans does not list its credit score or DTI requirements for jumbo mortgages on its website, but you’ll need a 20% down payment. Jumbo loans are offered up to $2 million.

Refinance

Cash-out refinance loans. Quicken Loans offers fixed-rate, cash-out refinance loans in terms of up to 30 years, which enable you to tap your home’s equity for home renovations or debt consolidation. You may also be able to get an adjustable-rate refinance loan through Quicken Loans, depending on the type of loan program you select.

FHA cash-out refinance loans. With an FHA cash-out refinance, you may be able to take out a loan for up to 80% of your property’s value.

VA cash-out refinance loans. Qualified borrowers may be able to refinance up to 100% of their home’s value using a VA loan.

Quicken Loans special mortgage programs

The Quicken Loans YOURgage® program provides qualified borrowers with the option to set their own repayment term. With this option, you choose your repayment period based on a window of 8 to 29 years. You may save money since you have the option to repay the loan quicker than the traditional 15- or 30-year terms. It still has the benefit of being a fixed-rate loan, so you know exactly how much you’ll owe each month.

Eligible YOURgage® borrowers must have a credit score of 620 or higher, a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less and must put down at least 3% on the house. If you choose this program, you’ll also need to prove that you can cover the loan closing costs, which are typically 2% to 6% of the home’s purchase price.

The mortgage application process

How to apply. You can start your Quicken Loans mortgage application online, through the Rocket Mortgage mobile app or you can request that a loan specialist contact you to apply over the phone. There’s also a chat option on the website if you want to ask a few questions before you start or while you are applying on Rocket Mortgage. You will have a main point of contact who you can reach out to at each point in the mortgage process. That contact will change to a different specialist as you move from application to underwriting and to closing.

When you apply online, you’ll be taken to the Rocket Mortgage website, as Rocket Mortgage is the tool Quicken Loans uses to connect directly to data providers or accept documents. The initial process is user friendly and can take under two minutes to complete since you can select your application responses from multiple-choice options, rather than inputting the data yourself.

After you submit your information, you’ll receive a list of possible loan options you can compare. If you choose a conventional 30-year, FHA or VA fixed-rate mortgage, you can lock your interest rate for up to 90 days with the company’s exclusive Rate Shield program. Additionally, as part of Rate Shield, if Quicken Loans’ rates have dropped on the day you submit your purchase agreement, the lender will institute a new lock on the lower rate, which will be in place for 40 to 60 days.

Quicken Loans requires a good-faith deposit of $400 to $750 to complete the mortgage application process, but the website doesn’t indicate at what point the deposit must be paid. The amount covers the cost of pulling your credit report, as well as the home appraisal and other loan processing expenses. If you close a mortgage with Quicken Loans, the good faith deposit will be applied to your closing costs. If you cancel your application, the deposit is refunded, though Quicken Loans may keep a portion of the money to cover any costs it incurred (such as pulling your credit or ordering an appraisal).

Disclosure process. Quicken Loans enables you to import and upload your financial information online, including your bank account and tax data. They will then verify your information and send you real-time updates on your loan’s progress.

Closing. Quicken Loans allows borrowers to choose the date and location of their closings, which is when all the final closing documents are signed. The company offers electronic closings (eClosings) in all 50 states, though the option and the type of eClosing, is limited based on your loan type and where you live.

Borrowers in any state can opt for a hybrid in-person closing if they’re refinancing to a conventional mortgage on a single-family home. The hybrid closing means that some documents are signed electronically and some are signed in person, reducing the time spent at the in-person meeting. This option is not available for borrowers using a power of attorney representative.

Another option for an eClosing is a remote online notarization (RON), in which the closing takes place entirely online through a virtual web conferencing portal. Quicken Loans also offers an in-person electronic notarization (IPEN) option, in which you sign your documents with a notary present, but all of the signing happens online. This can reduce the chances of missed signatures and mistakes that might slow down your closing. The type of eClosing available is dependent upon the loan product and your location.

Servicing. Quicken Loans’ website notes that the company services 99% of its loans, so your mortgage will most likely stay with the lender, rather than being sold to, and managed by, another company. This means you’ll make payments directly to Quicken Loans and work with them if you have problems paying your mortgage.

You can make mortgage payments through the Rocket Mortgage app or online. If you’d prefer a non-digital method, you can make payments over the phone or mail them directly to Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans does not charge extra for bi-weekly payments, or other conveniences. It has also been ranked highest for customer service in mortgage servicing by J.D. Power for seven straight years.

Communication during the process

To reach a loan officer by phone, call 888-452-8179. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Chat representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to midnight EST and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight EST.

 

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