What Is Quicken Loans?

Quicken Loans is a mortgage lender who uses their website, Rocket Mortgage, to connect you with in-house bankers to process your loan and close on the house you want to buy. The big difference between Quicken’s mortgage site and competitors is Quicken Loans themselves funds your mortgage, not a third-party bank.

Their website, Rocket Mortgage, is what consumers use to start the mortgage process, and we’ll talk more about that when we describe how you get a mortgage with Quicken Loans. Rocket Mortgage is sort of like the Uber app; the app gets you your ride, but it’s not the ride.

According to financial website Bankrate, Quicken Loans is the third largest mortgage lender in the United States behind Wells Fargo and Chase. In 2015, the company oversaw $19 billion in loan “originations”, a word that describes the process of connecting with a borrower, processing their loan and disbursing the money.

The company was founded in the mid-80’s by a team of investors led by current Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert. At the time, the company was named Rock Financial. Intuit bought out Rock Financial in 1999 and renamed the company Quicken Loans. In 2002, Gilbert bought back the mortgage-specific parts of Quicken Loans and hasn’t looked back since.

Quicken Loans definitely has a history of success behind it, but should you forego a traditional, go-to-the-bank-or-credit-union experience to use an internet-based lender like Quicken Loans? To answer that question, you need to figure out which mortgages and rates QL offers, how the origination process goes, what fees you should expect to pay and what other people are saying about QL’s services.

We’ll cover each of those topics in this review, as well as conclude with our thoughts on Quicken Loans and our recommendations.

Quicken Loans’ Mortgages and Rates

Quicken Loans provides borrowers seven different types of mortgages:

  • Fixed-Rate Mortgages: 15- and 30-year loans; rate stays the same.
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages: 5-, 7-, and 10-year loans; rate stays the same in the beginning, fluctuates after a pre-determined number of years.
  • FHA Loans: fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages provided by the federal government’s Housing and Urban Development department.
  • VA Loans: Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages for veterans.
  • Jumbo Loans: For homes between $417,000 and $3 million.
  • HARP Refinancing: Government program for homes with little or no “equity” (current value minus how much you owe)
  • Reverse: Using the equity in your home as a loan. You stop paying your mortgage, but the loan balance needs to be repaid when the home is sold. Have to be at least 62 years old.

Five of these loans are designed to buy a home, while two – HARP and Reverse – are meant to refinance your home (HARP) or create extra money (Reverse) based on your home’s equity.

The rates on these mortgages require a little bit of wisdom on the consumer’s part. When you’re dealing with mortgages, you’re going to face two rates: interest rate and APR.

Your loan’s interest rate is the bare-bones cost of the loan without any other fees included and it rises and falls as the economy rises and falls. The APR on your loan is the interest rate plus closing costs, private mortgage insurance, and other fees.

Think of the difference between interest rate and APR like a restaurant bill. Your interest rate is what the meal costs you according to menu prices; the APR is what your meal costs you after tax and tip. As a result, your APR is always higher than your interest rate.

This is an important thing to remember because, as The Wall Street Journal’s Anya Martin put it, “potential borrowers may consider the two terms interchangeable: the interest rate and the annual percentage rate. They sound like the same thing but are, in fact, much different.”

Comparing APR’s on loans from different companies will help you see which companies are charging you more than others for processing your loan (more on that later).

You can view Quicken’s APRs by heading to the Mortgage Rates page. Remember, though, these rates change over time so make sure you check up on them.

What’s a good rule of thumb for the difference between your APR and interest rate? About 0.25% to 0.5%, Anya Martin wrote.

How to Get a Mortgage From Quicken Loans

As we said at the top of this article, you’ll have to go through Quicken Loan’s Rocket Mortgage site in order to start the loan process. To start, you provide your social security number, your income, the loan amount you want, where you want to live and other information.

Once Rocket Mortgage has that info, they’ll pull your credit and then pair you with an in-house banker who works with you to find a loan that best fits your situation.

Paying a Good Faith Deposit

When the match is made, you’ll have to pay Quicken Loans a “good faith” deposit between $450 and $700 that covers, according to Quicken Loans, “pulling your credit report, getting an appraisal, and processing the title.”

After your deposit is paid, you’ll set up a Quicken Loans account through which you upload all the info your banker and Quicken Loans need to complete your loan application. When your paperwork is in, Quicken Loans will do something called “underwriting”, which is the process of vetting your income, debt and your overall financial state.

While all this is going on, Quicken will hire a third-party, state-certified appraiser to appraise the home you want to buy or refinance.

From there, you’ll go through the final steps and close on your funding and, in the case of a purchase, your home.

What Other People Are Saying About Quicken Loans

There are several different ways consumers make decisions about which mortgage company they choose. Sometimes we make the decisions based on tradition; our parents used the company, so we use them.

Other times it’s a matter of reviews; fellow consumers’ opinions are a great way to get a sense of a company’s pros and cons.

Quicken Loans Reviews at Credit Karma

Nearly 600 consumers have reviewed Quicken Loans in the past year with an average score of 4.3 stars. More than 70% of those reviews were 5-star, while 10% were 1-star. When asked about QL’s loan process and customer service, reviewers gave an average of 4.5 stars in both categories.

We browsed through the 1-star reviews and found that consumers most often complained of an expensive appraisal process, high fees, a drawn-out paperwork process and, in one case, a refusal to budge on a low appraisal done by an assistant appraiser rather than the certified appraiser.

One reviewer noted that, while Quicken Loans services their mortgages, they sell them to another company “within 2 months”. We reached out for a comment from Quicken Loans and they said they have the servicing rights to “all loans.”

Another concern was that Quicken Loans pulled a borrower’s credit eight times during the loan process, a fact we thought was a little fishy until we read through reviews on ConsumerAffairs (more on that in a second).

Also of note is a complaint about endless calls from Quicken Loans and partner companies after people had gone through the loan process. This is no surprise, as Quicken Loans makes clear on their website that your information will be dispersed to dozens of partner companies that may or may not have anything to do with mortgages.

We also took a look at Quicken Loans’ 5-star reviews on Credit Karma and found customers were quite happy with how easy the process was and how competitive QL’s rates were.

Quicken Loans Reviews at ConsumerAffairs

Nearly 3,000 consumers on ConsumerAffairs gave Quicken Loans an average of 3-stars. When we checked out how those ratings were distributed, we found than 208 reviews were 1-star and 262 reviews were 4 or 5 stars.

Of the 30 most recent reviews we read, 28 were 1-star reviews, one was a 2-star review and one was a 5-star review for a refinance, not a home purchase.

The reviewers on this site had similar complaints as what we read on Credit Karma. Several said QL assured them they’d get a loan, only to notify them within 10 days of closing on their home that they didn’t get the loan.

In one such situation, the borrower said Quicken Loans denied him because his credit score was too low. The borrower discovered Quicken Loans did a hard check on his credit nine times during the loan process, causing a “substantial” drop in his credit scores.

Better Business Bureau’s Quicken Loans Page

Quicken Loans gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, a grade which takes into account 13 different factors including:

  • Complaints filed against Quicken Loans
  • How many complaints were answered and resolved
  • Transparency of business practices
  • Government action against the company
  • How long company has been in business
  • How it handles mediation or arbitration cases

Seven of the 10 most recent reviews of the company were positive, with consumers praising how easy it was to get a loan from Quicken.

One of the three negative reviews indicated they applied for a HARP refinance and actually received an FHA refinance. They characterized the move as a “bait-and-switch”, and while we can understand why the consumer would say that, Quicken Loans does say they ultimately decide which loan is best for you.

Closing Time: Our Final Thoughts About Quicken Loans

Just like any mortgage lender – and any product or service, for that matter – Quicken Loans has its benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits

Quicken Loans has been in the business of financing, in one form or another, for a long time. That’s a plus for the consumer because, in most cases, the longer a lending company has been in business, the better.

Also, we think that Quicken Loans has kept themselves current with the Rocket Mortgage website, using it as an easy way for consumers to apply for mortgages. Gone are the days where consumers are forced to go to a bank and wait in a line in order to talk with a mortgage broker.

Drawbacks

However, with these perks also come some drawbacks. Since everything is updated online and over the phone, you don’t get the face-to-face interaction you’d have if you worked with a mortgage broker at your bank or credit union. Quicken Loans may not be a good fit for you if you value that face-to-face interaction.

Also, there are some legitimate concerns with how many times Quicken Loans has pulled the credit of certain borrowers. Normally, credit reporting bureaus know that people looking for mortgages tend to get several credit checks as they try and get pre-approved for mortgages from several different lenders.

So, if you get four or five different credit checks for mortgage rates, the bureaus will count those multiple checks as a single check if they’re done within the span of 14 days.

Why these particular customers had their credit “pulled” (hard check) eight and nine times is really confusing for us. We reached out to Quicken Loans about this but did not hear back by the time we published this review.

As we mentioned earlier, there was concern about Quicken Loans selling mortgages to other companies a few months after the borrower closed on their home or completed a refinance.

Quicken told us they have the rights to all loans and also noted the company has a top-notch rating from J.D. Power, the objective, consumer-based ratings company who covers a variety of consumer products like cars and insurance policies.

Lawsuits

Consumers reviews tend to corroborate Quicken Loans’ claims they have excellent customer service.

However, we found a 2011 article from CBS News that reveals Quicken Loans has a pocket of examples of strong-arming consumers into bad loans so the company could make more money.

Quicken Loans’ lending practices may not be as exemplary as the company contends,” reporter Alain Sherter wrote. “A federal lawsuit starting in Detroit today and other legal action against the nation's largest online mortgage lender paint a decidedly less flattering picture of Quicken.”

Some of the practices brought under scrutiny were appraisals that were inflated so Quicken could give bigger loans and, therefore, receive more fees. The lawsuit was successful.

More recently, the Department of Justice accused Quicken Loans of fraud between 2007 and 2011. That lawsuit is ongoing.

Keep in mind, though, that these court cases focus on Quicken Loans’ practices from 2007 to 2011, not from 2016.

Making Your Decision

The key to your decision about Quicken Loans is to do your research. Talk with your bank or credit union about the rates they’re offering, then compare those rates to what Quicken Loans offers.

Take a look at the APR on your mortgage and consider how much higher it is than your interest rate. The bigger the difference, the more you’re paying in fees.

Also, consider your credit scores – the better your credit, the more of a chance you have of getting a good rate from whichever lender you choose.

And don’t forget the complaints consumers have voiced about multiple credit checks. Make sure you keep an eye on your credit scores during the loan process. Credit Karma offers free access to your Equifax and TransUnion scores, which means you can monitor your credit scores on a daily basis.

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7 Customer Reviews for Quicken Loans

Average Customer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 1 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 6
Bottom Line: 14% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-7 of 7
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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Bait and switch stay away!

    • Florida,
    • Mar 26, 2017

    Wow, I was really surprised about this company. I really thought they were legit. I called regarding a first time home buyer loan, and they told me about my husband's score, which was like 100 points lower than what we have seen. They immediately said they wanted us to speak to a credit counselor. A bait and switch. I told them that the scores they provided are wrong, but they just wanted to push their other product. Not good!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Buyer beware

    Do not go with Quicken Loans, for they claim they are a lender, but reality, they are no more than an underwriter for Fannie Mae, for they do not hold the paper that they claim to loan.

    They will sell off your loan within 24 hours of closing. The whole process is deceptive from the beginning, and they will charge you an upfront fee of $500 and run your credit before you even say "yes." The whole process is one big stress machine, for they will collect paperwork, and then lose it. They will offer an initial loan amount and then decrease it, based upon your supposed debt to income ratio.

    I started with a loan of $267,000, and then they changed it to $212,000 all because $12 more a month was added to my student loan payment, even though my loan was deferred for life. My favorite was the appraisal, for the first appraisal came back at the purchase price, of course, and then the magic Fannie Mae SPRD system challenges the appraisal, claiming that the price was not supported. Then there is a second appraisal ordered (by the way, they add an additional $500 charge to your escrow account after they said "it was on their dime").

    The second appraisal came in at $371,000 using homes in the comparable that was like comparing apples to oranges, and when the original appraisal was done, it came in at $387,500. They did everything in their power to get out of this loan, for I was putting down 43%, so it did not matter. They even gave me conditional approval where I made the conditions, but they kept moving the markers, and two days before closing, they pulled the rug from under me, stating that they could not approve the loan, despite giving me a written approval. What is so surprising is that was with an 800 credit score.

    They call me and tell me the day before closing to pay off my student loan debt or get a cosigner, for they refuse to take any risk whatsoever, despite having a perfect credit record and putting 43% down. I went to a different lender, where I had to have another appraisal done, and the third appraisal came in at $388,500 for the same exact house only a week later. This tells me that the second appraisal done by Quicken was questionable in nature, for some odd reason this appraisal came back almost a week later when the original came in 48 hours later, and they asked me to sign an appraisal waiver.

    They had the nerve to ask me how I was paying for the hotel costs, and even though I told them that my costs were free due to paying by points, they demanded I show them proof of it. They did everything they could to get out of this loan because they would not make money on their end.

    This lender is nothing more than an overpriced loan broker claiming to be a lender on TV and online. They do not fund your loan, they underwrite for Fannie Mae and sell to them on the open market falsely claiming to the public that they are a direct lender, which is far from the truth.

    They did not care that I have spent $14,000 to move all my belongings from Los Angeles to Charlotte with having no place to unload it, and left me in a situation where I was stranded in a hotel with no place for my family. They offered me no compensation for my loss and stress they put me through. They are not reliable or trustworthy, so buyer beware!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    VA refinance

    • Indiana,
    • Jan 13, 2017

    AVOID Quicken Loans.

    Working with Quicken Loans on a VA refinance loan was a terrible experience for me. I initially contacted them on or about August 1st, and on August 26th I sent them a letter, at their request, explaining my intentions. Based on the letter and my proof of service, they informed me that I was eligible.

    I proceeded, at their direction, with the actions required by the VA, including appraisal, the pest inspection, well water test, and treatment. All together it was about $1,000 out of my pocket. On December 18th, after I had done everything they asked and after Quicken Loans had received all the necessary documents to close, they informed me that I was ineligible for the loan.

    Long story short, they agreed to refund the cost of the appraisal only. Meaning, I wasted $600 to accomplish what they told me to accomplish. AVOID Quicken Loans.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Terrible Experience

    We have a log home that we were trying to refinance through Quicken Loans. The initial consult made things sound positive in moving forward. Nobody told us because we have a log home in an area that does not have at least three comparisons, the loan would never get approved.

    We scheduled the appraisal and got that response back. We talked to the agent after the appraisal and were told that the loan should close in about 14 business days. Great, or so we thought!

    About six days later, I get a call letting us know we cannot go forward with the loan. They explained why. We wanted the appraisal refunded because of their mistake. They said ok, but only on the credit card. We do not use that card often and preferred to have a check. But they would NOT issue a check.

    This is their signature on their e-mail:

    Every Client Every Time No Exceptions No Excuses

    Don't believe it!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Refinance

    • Inglewood, CA,
    • Nov 19, 2016

    After trying to refinance with a current lender who didn't seem like they were willing to work with us, I was searching the web and saw QL. I called and Wow! The loan originator was so helpful and listened. Before I knew it our loan was in process and the team was great. They always were there to talk with, explained anything. I admit, I read the negative reviews and thought, hum, but we kept moving with our loan and for people who do hardly anything online, this was easy. Again, all loans are different and we must be honest about things that we could do that makes a loan go sour. There was a lot of paperwork and timelines that were required. But, again we did what was needed and we closed our refinance loan in five weeks. Thanks QL.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Discriminatory lending practices

    Quicken Loans deleted my negative review. Their employee discriminated against me because I am elderly. I'm only 62 years old but I'm retired. Young people need to learn that they cannot disrespect older citizens and get away with it. I will be filing an age discrimination lawsuit.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Not even worth 1 star

    By far the worst customer service I have ever received in my life. The representatives are "yes ma'am, we understand but we did nothing wrong" kind of people and it's a total sham. The second I indicated any interest in exploring the home buying process, this company called me 8 times within 8 hours and left 3 voicemails.

    When I eventually answered and was connected to a banker to get some more information, I openly admitted that I knew NOTHING about the mortgage process and he began asking me where I was at in the process and I said that I literally just started and knew NOTHING about any of this. When he pulled my credit he informed me A) that because I have student loans in deferment I was disqualified from pre-approval and B) that this was a HARD inquiry on my credit score.

    Minimally, the fact that I openly admitted to not knowing a single thing about the mortgage process he should have mentioned the hard inquiry beforehand, as I would have immediately stopped the conversation because being in the first week of exploring home ownership, I clearly was not at that stage yet. He neglected to tell me that because as a phone representative he just wanted to make his sale.

    Second, I screen clients all the time before actually setting them for an appointment and when there are “red flags” or immediate disqualifiers such as student loans in deferment, that is something that can be discussed prior to starting the entire process and putting a hard inquiry on my credit report. That could have easily been screened and once again the banker was just trying to make his sale and was all too eager to “get me started with their company” that he failed to act on any common sense and protect his “potential client” beforehand. This people are deceptive, manipulative, awful telemarketing, robots who are only out to tell you just enough to get what they want.

    When a representative followed up on my concerns the following day, he defended his banker saying that “it wasn’t necessary to ask about student loans before pulling my credit score.” Necessary? Apparently not. But for a company that promotes their excellent customer service, and A+ rating, necessary should not be the expected service received. Considerate and efficient is the basic service I expected.

    He also proceeded to tell me that “by simply asking permission to pull my credit should have made it obvious that it was a hard inquiry” (even though multiple times I told them I knew NOTHING about this process). I simply want them to remove the inquiry from my credit report that they so hastily ran. Had I been given accurate information and adequate customer service, this whole situation could have been avoided. I would never have agreed to run my report if I had known it was a hard inquiry and could have easily disclosed my student loans in forbearance had they simply screened me beyond my social security number and income.

    Just because they believe something isn't "necessary" or that something is "obvious" does not give them the right to not disclose it prior to docking my credit score just so they can push me through the system to get what they want. I will absolutely recommend NEVER to work with these company.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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