Rocket Mortgage Overview
Rocket Mortgage is the online mortgage lending site for Quicken Loans, the largest mortgage lender in the U.S. It has been the top lender for customer satisfaction for 11 years running, according to J.D. Power. We’ve ranked it as one of the best online mortgage lenders because of its highly rated customer service and simple online application process. The Detroit-headquartered lender is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Rocket Mortgage offers a wide range of both purchase loans and mortgage refinance loans, including government-backed mortgages. However, it doesn’t offer construction loans, home equity loans, or renovation loans.
Pros and Cons of Rocket Mortgage
- Streamlined end-to-end remote application process
- Licensed in 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia
- Offers mortgage with standard loan terms and the flexible YOURgage®, which has a loan term of 8 to 29 years
- Advertises competitive mortgage rates, but the advertised rates include discount points, which can significantly increase your upfront costs
- Not great for niche loans, such as home equity loans, reverse mortgages, and USDA loans
No physical locations
You’ll need to call or chat with a representative for some loan information
No construction loans or renovation loans
Advertised rates may include discount points, which increase your upfront costs
Rocket Mortgage: Loan Types and Products
Rocket Mortgage has a range of loan options for those who want to purchase a home and for homeowners looking to refinance an existing mortgage. Right now it offers the followings types of mortgages:
You will have access to most types of mortgage refinance loans though Rocket Mortgage, including standard rate and term refinancing, and cash-out refinance loans. It also offers government-secured loans for refinancing, such as VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL) and FHA streamline refinance loans.
Currently, Rocket Mortgage doesn’t offer USDA loans, construction loans, or adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). You also won’t be able to obtain any type of renovation loan, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit through Rocket Mortgage. So it’s not the best lender for financing a rehab project, unless a cash-out refinance makes sense for you.
Rocket Mortgage offers conventional loans with 15-year and 30-years terms. It also has a unique loan product called the YOURgage®, which has a flexible repayment term of 8 to 29 years. The YOURgage has a minimum down payment of 3%, a credit score requirement of 620, and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) must be 50% or less.
Rocket Mortgage: Transparency
Rocket Mortgage has an easy-to-navigate site with a straightforward application process, and you can be preapproved in only minutes. It has an array of tools to help you figure out how much home you can afford and a number of guides explaining loan types and terms.
It’s not clear on the Rocket Mortgage site which types of loans it offers or what the minimum credit score requirements are for different mortgages. The FAQ lists a few types of loans and its requirements, but there isn’t a complete public list of every loan offered. So you’ll have to call or chat with a representative to get some critical questions answered.
Rocket Mortgage: Rates and Fees
Rocket Mortgage advertises daily refinance and purchase rates for 15-year loans, 30-year loans, VA loans, and FHA loans. These rates can change every day and are based on a few assumptions, such as that your credit score is higher than 720 and your debt-to-income ratio is under 30%. So everyone won’t be able to qualify for the lowest rates.
Also, be sure to pay attention to the fees and APR because the advertised rates can include discount points. A discount point, or mortgage point, is an optional upfront fee you pay in exchange for a lower interest rate. Typically, a discount point costs 1% of the loan balance and reduces your rate by .25%. So if you want to avoid paying the additional fees, you’re likely to get a higher mortgage rate than advertised.
The minimum credit score required by Rocket Mortgage varies depending on the type of loan. Most loans, such as conventional loans and VA loans, require a score of at least 620. For FHA loans, your credit score can be as low as 580. While these are the minimum credit scores you need to qualify, only those with the highest credits scores will qualify for the best mortgage rates.
Rocket Mortgage has no application fees or prepayment penalties for any of its loans. There can be late fees, which vary depending on how late the payment is. For a complete breakdown of the closing costs, including lender fees and discount points, you’ll need to submit an application.
You can lock in your interest rate for 45 days, and Rocket Mortgage can extend the rate lock an additional 15 day for free. But there is a deposit of $500 required to cover the appraisal and rate lock. This deposit can then be applied to future loan costs.
Refinancing With Rocket Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage has a good selection of refinance loans available from conventional to government-backed loans. From start to finish, an average refinance loan takes 30 to 45 days to close.
The fees you pay to refinance usually average 2% to 3% of the loan amount. But the specific fees you pay vary depending on factors such as the type of loan. You won’t be able to get an estimate of the fees until you submit an application. However, if you want to avoid the extra upfront costs, Rocket Mortgage can roll your refinance closing costs into your new home loan, if you have enough equity.
Rocket Mortgage Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders
|Minimum Credit Score||580 to 620||620||660|
|Minimum Downpayment||0% to 3.5%||3%||5%|
|States it operates in||50||43||42|
|Loan types offered||Conventional loans, jumbo loans, VA loans, FHA loans||Conventional loans, jumbo loans||Conventional loans|
How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate
The mortgage rate and fees you qualify for will vary from lender to lender, so it’s important to shop around and find the best mortgage lender for you.
In order to accurately compare offers, you’ll need to submit applications with a few lenders. Publicly advertised rates aren’t necessarily the rate you’ll qualify for, and without a full application a lender won’t be able to provide you with an estimate of the fees. Compare two to four lenders that offer the types of loan products you’re interested in.
When you’ve submitted your applications, each lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate. A Loan Estimate is a standardized form, so it’ll be easy to find the lender with the lowest mortgage rate. But you shouldn’t stop there, the fees are equally important. Pay attention to the lender fees, or origination charges, and ask what each fee is for and whether or not it’s negotiable. Two loans can have the same interest rate, but one may have significantly higher upfront fees.
Rocket Mortgage is the online mortgage side of Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest mortgage lender. It has an easy to navigate website and a smooth application process. Rocket Mortgage’s customer service is highly rated. Through its online chat feature and phone lines, you can get answers to questions about your existing application or a new loan seven days a week.
The advertised rates may include discount points, and you’ll need pristine financials in order to qualify for them. It also doesn’t have a complete list of all of its loan offerings available online. So you’ll need to reach out to a Rocket Mortgage agent to get some of your questions answered. And you’ll still want to shop around for the best deal.