Founded in 1985, Quicken Loans rapidly rose as a prominent mortgage provider in the U.S. In the late 90s, the company shifted its attention to online lending to offer a streamlined service in every state. It was only in 2015 that Quicken Loans set up Rocket Mortgage—a lender providing 100% online mortgage closing.
In July 2021, Quicken Loans changed its name to Rocket Mortgage, emphasizing how the latter aligns with its vision of providing convenient, digitally-enabled services. The crux of the matter is—if you’re looking for Quicken Loans refinance reviews, you probably won’t find anything recent that is relevant enough.
In this guide, we have strictly reviewed the product that exists—Rocket Mortgage refinance. Our experts have analyzed various customer reviews and service reports to gauge this online-only refinance service. We’ll be discussing its:
- Overall viability
- Logistical convenience
- Market alternatives
Is Rocket Mortgage Good for Refinancing?
Rocket Mortgage offers refinance programs in all U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The Detroit-based lender’s loans are serviced online via:
Rocket Mortgage is not merely the largest online lender around—it recently became the country’s biggest mortgage lender in terms of volume. That alone speaks about how first-time homebuyers and refinance seekers lean towards the company’s online format over physical alternatives.
Source: Antoni Shkraba
While talking to loan officers or brokers over the phone doesn’t happen frequently at Rocket Mortgage, the structure can be both a blessing and a curse. In case your deal is perfect on paper—your credit score, tax returns, and other financials make you an eligible candidate, the application will go through easily. If the situation calls for negotiation, though, the company’s impersonal approach may not work for you.
Coming to the Rocket Mortgage refinance program—let’s go over its suitability with regard to the following aspects:
- Refinance types
- Eligibility requirements
- Rates and closing costs
- Application process
What Types of Refinance Loans Does Rocket Mortgage Offer?
Rocket Mortgage primarily offers conforming and government agency-backed loans similar to what most non-bank refinance lenders provide. You can go for conventional rate-and-term refinance plans or specific programs like:
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refinances (streamline and cash-out)
- Veteran Affairs (VA) refinances:
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
- Cash-out refinance
Rocket Mortgage lets you choose between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). Fixed-rate refinances are available for the standard 15-year and 30-year plans, but you can also pick a customized tenure between eight and 29 years.
ARM refinances have low introductory rates that gradually increase over the years. Rocket Mortgage has ARM packages for five, seven, and ten years if you go for a conventional refinance. VA or FHA ARMs are available for a 5-year term only.
You can get a refinance or cash-out refinance for up to $2 million. Rocket Mortgage doesn’t have a lower limit for funding, so you can refinance even when you have a small outstanding balance on your current loan.
As of 2022, Rocket Mortgage doesn’t offer:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) refinance
- Nonqualified mortgage refinance
- Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), discontinued in 2018
What Are the Eligibility Criteria for a Rocket Mortgage Refinance?
Rocket Mortgage has an AI-enabled system that determines whether a borrower meets the company’s lending criteria. The AI is influenced by data and analytics related to your financial health, desired package, and refinance amount, among other factors. The following table shows approximate figures on the base qualification criteria for various refinance loans:
|DTI ratio (max)||50%||60%||Up to 57%*|
*The maximum DTI ratio for FHA loans is usually set by the automated underwriting system
Keep in mind that the ideal DTI ratio for all options is usually 35%–45%. A higher percentage typically means you face higher financial scrutiny and have a smaller chance of qualifying.
Source: Mikhail Nilov
Will a Rocket Mortgage Refinance Be Expensive?
Rocket Mortgage rates are closer to the national average, making it a reasonably priced refinance option. Here is what you can expect with the three major cost components:
- Interest rates—Most non-bank lenders initially give you teaser rates, but Rocket Mortgage will flash the effective rate on the screen the moment you finish up the application process. That being said, the rates fluctuate every day according to the national mortgage rates
- Origination fees—The company charges about $1,200 origination fee for processing and underwriting. Like with other lenders, other expenses like appraisal and legal costs will also add to your obligation. In general, the total closing costs at Rocket Mortgage range between 2% and 6%
- Rate-lock fees—Since mortgage rates change regularly, Rocket Mortgage gives you the option to lock a particular interest rate for 15–90 days while you’re shopping for other lenders. The cost can be $125–$250 per $100,000 borrowed
What Does the Application Process at Rocket Mortgage Look Like?
You need to have a user account to apply for loans at Rocket Mortgage. Keep in mind that Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans have two separate websites for now, which can be confusing. That’s not a problem, though, because Quicken Loans automatically redirects you to Rocket Mortgage every time you click on a home loan or refinance link.
Here’s how to apply for a refinance loan at Rocket Mortgage:
- Access the Apply For Refinance option on Rocket Mortgage’s website
- Enter the following details as prompted:
- Integrate your bank account(s) to the website as per instructions
- Add details about your assets and liabilities
- Answer a couple of questions related to government monitoring (like if you’re required to pay child support to an ex-spouse)
- Customize your refinance plan
- Click on See If I’m Approved
Once you’ve entered the necessary info, the site’s AI will process the details and flash the rates applicable to you. You can lock the rates right away or revisit them later if you’re expecting a decline. If you decide to go for the refinance, the closing will take about 47 days on average. You can also access customer support from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day via phone and chat.
Rocket Mortgage or Quicken Loans Mortgage Refinance Reviews
Although there are several online-only lenders on the market now, Rocket Mortgage will always be the trailblazer. The company has mastered the process of servicing loans digitally and is one of the top lender options for traditional refinance.
According to J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, Rocket Mortgage ranks highest in terms of customer satisfaction. The company also enjoys a 3.8-star rating on Trustpilot (after over 5,300 reviews). Check out the dominant review themes we noted:
|• Ease of use|
• Low interest rates
• Continuous updates
• Paperless verification
• Responsive team
• No lower limit for funding
|• Stressful online verification process|
• Unpredictable customer service
• Slow processing (that may also lead to unwarranted rejection)
• Expensive appraisal fees
Rocket Mortgage refinance can be a bit challenging for people who struggle with online-enabled paperwork. Applications often get rejected because the uploaded images of the required documents aren’t clear enough. Another common problem is being assigned multiple loan officers from different departments throughout your screening, which can lead to repetitive and unproductive actions.
Top Alternatives to Rocket Mortgage
One of the finest aspects of Rocket Mortgage is that you don’t have to pay anything until you lock a rate in, which gives you the freedom to shop around for cheaper options. Some common alternatives to the company in a traditional refinancing scenario include:
You should also keep a list of non-traditional refinancing options in case you don’t qualify for a traditional one or want a less intrusive vendor. Many borrowers choose to work with hard money lenders who offer loans on asset-based criteria instead of personal qualifications. These lenders essentially provide nonqualified mortgages suitable for those with bad credit scores or insufficient paperwork.
Hard money lenders also make for a viable funding choice if you’re looking to:
- Refinance fast—The screening for hard money loans is mainly asset appraisal. If the loan-to-value (LTV) amount makes sense to the lender, you can get refinanced within weeks, if not days
- Go mortgage-free soon—Hard money loans are short-term products, typically for 1–3 years, with interest rates around 1.15–3 times higher than traditional mortgage rates. The structure allows you to settle the debt quickly, often with lower lifetime interest cost
Most hard money loans entail interest-only payments without the burden of insurance. The principal sum has to be repaid at the end of the tenure, which the borrower manages to do by getting another refinance or selling the property.
Looking for Quick Refinance? Try Hard Money Loan Solutions (HMLS)
Hard money loans have been around for decades, but their simplicity has only recently started to appeal to savvy borrowers. If you go for asset-based funding, choosing a reliable and high-rated lender should be your priority.
Hard Money Loan Solutions (HMLS) provides top-notch mortgage refinancing programs to both qualified and nonqualified borrowers. HMLS, at its core, fills the gap left by lenders like Rocket Mortgage by enabling quick screening and financing for all categories of users, regardless of background, credit health, employment status, or nationality.
Source: Andrea Piacquadio
- One-unit homes
- Multi-unit homes
- Commercial units (like retail stores or warehouses)
- Investment properties
You qualify for a hard money loan fully based on the collateral you put forward. Besides the property value, HMLS prefers refinancing homeowners who have built some equity, as it’s a good indicator that the borrower cares about the property.
HMLS—Relaxed Borrowing Limits and Flexible Terms
You can secure financing for over $50 million, which is a much higher limit than what traditional lenders allow. The following table covers the crucial components of an HMLS loan:
|Loan Component||HMLS Structure|
|Principal||$100,000 to $50,000,000+|
|Installment type||Interest only (no amortization)|
|LTV offered||Up to 70% of the lower of:|
• Market value
• Purchase price
|Funding time||3–14 days|
|Origination fee||2 points or 2%|
|Prepayment penalty||No (if repaid after six months)|
HMLS lenders are veteran private investors and entrepreneurs with years of extensive real estate experience—they analyze each case individually to determine the final package. The refinance terms will be flexible to suit your specific situation—contact the lenders to get a free consultancy.
Benefits of an HMLS Loan
HMLS assists borrowers with a variety of products, including rehab, business, bridge, home purchase, and construction loans. The lender has been rated 5/5 stars on Google due to its service-minded approach. HMLS believes in personalized customer treatment and tries to present innovative funding techniques in difficult scenarios.
Source: Google Reviews
The other benefits of working with HMLS are:
- Transparent discussions
- Paper-light application and screening
- Reliable funding commitment
- Responsive and knowledgeable team
- Funding guarantee (after approval)
Service Quality—HMLS Merges Online and Offline Processing
HMLS brings you the best of both worlds with its integrated online and offline lending setup. You can request a loan online, but the discussion happens with a direct lender via phone. Here’s how it unfolds:
- Open the online loan application page
- Fill out the particulars about your property and/or business
- Enter your requested loan amount
- Add situation-specific comments if necessary
The HMLS team will call you to confirm that you’re interested before appraising the property. Work with the lender to acquire a package that benefits you the most. You’re in control all the time—the team doesn’t bother applicants once they communicate they won’t need the loan.
Hard Money Loan Solutions is always upfront about costs and interest rates. While the group doesn’t charge rate-lock or financial counsel fees, it’s smart to compare costs between different hard money lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your home.
Featured image source: Tima Miroshnichenko