Rocket Mortgage review: Online applications and flexible loan terms

Same-sex male couple applying for a home loan online through Rocket Mortgage Image: Same-sex male couple applying for a home loan online through Rocket Mortgage

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Rocket Mortgage loans at a glance

  • Conventional loans: Yes
  • FHA loans: Yes
  • VA loans: Yes
  • Refinancing: Yes
  • Jumbo loan: Yes
  • Adjustable rates: No
  • Fixed rates: Yes — 8 to 30 years

Rocket Mortgage is an online mortgage provider owned by Quicken Loans and designed for tech-savvy customers who want a digital experience, from application to closing.

Quicken Loans is the largest mortgage originator in the U.S., with nearly $145 billion in mortgage loans in 2019. Quicken Loans reports that 98% of its mortgage volume uses Rocket Mortgage.

Pros

  • Online mortgage process
  • Flexible fixed-rate loan terms with YOURgage® program
  • Verified Approval℠ offerings
  • Mortgages available for second homes or investment homes
  • Available in all 50 states

Cons

  • No home equity loans available
  • No adjustable-rate mortgages for conventional loans
  • No USDA loans


6 things to know about a Rocket Mortgage loan

1. Online mortgage process

In most cases, Rocket Mortgage offers the ability to complete the mortgage process without having to talk to anyone. (Keep in mind that if you’re self-employed, you won’t be able to do everything online.)

And if you need customer service or expert advice with questions about things like an in-process loan, the company does have home loan experts available by phone during certain hours. If you’ve got a question about a new loan, you can also chat online any day.

2. Flexible fixed-rate loan terms

Generally, your options when it comes to the length of your loan are limited, with 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages being the standard across the industry. But the Quicken Loans YOURgage program allows the choice of a loan term between eight and 29 years for your new mortgage.

3. Helpful tools, especially for new homebuyers

In addition to guiding you through the mortgage application process, Rocket Mortgage can help you search for homes and match with a real estate agent.

The website also has a number of tools, such as an affordability calculator, that can help you understand how much house you can afford, what your monthly payments might be, and even what your closing costs might look like before you decide to apply.

4. Verified Approval options

Rocket Mortgage offers preapproval letters, but goes a step further with its Verified Approval program. To get a Verified Approval, you’ll need to work with a Quicken home loan expert to review your financial information. What’s the benefit of getting your approval verified? The company says the process can help you compete with cash offers.

5. Loan types and availability

Rocket Mortgage originates mortgages across the U.S. (though not in Puerto Rico) and is available to customers who are buying or refinancing a second home or investment property.

But it doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit and no longer offers adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, on conventional loans. It also doesn’t accept USDA loan applications — a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that offers mortgages for low- and middle-income people in rural areas.

6. Minimum credit score needed

You may be approved for a Rocket Mortgage loan with credit scores as low as 580, though the type of loan you apply for could require better credit. Typically, the better your scores, the better your loan terms. Understanding your credit scores is a good first step to building your credit.

Who is a Rocket Mortgage loan good for?

Rocket Mortgage could be a good option if you’re comfortable with an online mortgage experience (or even if you’re really hoping to avoid talking on the phone with anyone). And even though it’s online, first-time buyers could benefit from how Rocket Mortgage walks you through the process. It’s best for those who are ready to buy a home, though the calculators and tools can come in handy even if you’re just starting to think about what’s possible.

And if you want nonstandard loan terms, check out the YOURgage program, which allows some out-of-the-box options for the length of your loan.

Ultimately, Rocket Mortgage is a good option for you only if you can find the kind of loan that you’re looking for.

How to apply for a Rocket Mortgage loan

Rocket Mortgage’s online-first process makes the application process smooth, whether you log in using RocketMortgage.com or the mobile app.

You’ll need credit scores of at least 580 to qualify with Rocket Mortgage. If you qualify, the company will give you recommendations on what mortgages could work for your situation and quote rates.

Have the following information on hand as you apply:

  • An email address for each person who will be on the loan
  • Your online banking login
  • Your income and employment history
  • Your Social Security number

Not sure if Rocket Mortgage is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you want to compare interest rates with several mortgage lenders or your application is denied, keep in mind that you have as few as 14 days to shop around without your credit being affected by multiple hard inquiries. That’s important because while a single hard inquiry could drop your credit scores, several at the same time have the potential to significantly impact your credit.

  • Better Mortgage: This lender also has an online mortgage application process and advertises that it doesn’t charge lender fees.
  • Bank of America: Check out Bank of America for more loan options, like adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity loans.

About the author: Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than a decade of experience as a reporter and editor at North Carolina news organizations, including the Charlotte Observer and the StarNews… Read more.