Rocket Mortgage Review 2022 | rocket mortgage interest rates

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Rocket Mortgage, based in Detroit, was one of the first mortgage companies to pave the way for offering a rapid online mortgage application process. 

Rocket Mortgage Review 2022


The digital-first lender subsumed its big-sister brand, Quicken Loans, in July 2021, and now stands as the largest mortgage lender nationwide. Rocket Mortgage offers many different types of home loans including conventional, jumbo, and mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The company issues home loans up to $2.5 million and cash-out refinancing up to $2 million. It also offers nonstandard term lengths—from eight years to 30 years—to help you better match mortgage payments to your budget.

What Rocket Mortgage Offers

Rocket Mortgage operates in all states and the District of Columbia, except in Puerto Rico. Its interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate conventional conforming purchase loans are comparable to national averages. You can check Rocket Mortgage’s rates for the most common mortgage types on its website.

Loan Types

Rocket Mortgage offers the following types of mortgages:

  • Conventional
  • Fannie Mae Home Ready
  • Freddie Mac Home Possible
  • VA
  • VA IRRRL
  • VA cash-out refinance
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • FHA streamline refinance
  • FHA cash-out refinance

In addition to fixed-rate mortgages, Rocket Mortgage offers adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

  • You can get a five-, seven- or 10-year ARM with a conventional loan.
  • You can get a five-year ARM with an FHA or VA loan.

If you want a less-common loan type, like a USDA loan or a nonqualified mortgage, you’ll need to find a different lender. USDA loans help lower-income borrowers in rural areas; nonqualified mortgages help borrowers who don’t meet conventional loan requirements.

Loan Minimum

Rocket Mortgage does not have a minimum loan amount, which is good news. Some lenders do not offer small mortgage loans, which can make it harder for people to purchase less-expensive homes.

Loan Maximum

Loan maximums depend on mortgage type and your qualifications. You can borrow up to $2.5 million on a jumbo loan, and up to $2 million with a VA loan through Rocket Mortgage. These are relatively high limits, but some lenders offer even larger loans.

Loan Servicing

Unlike many lenders, Rocket Mortgage services most of the loans it originates, except for jumbo loans. So, if you get your loan from Rocket Mortgage, there’s a good chance you’ll also make your payments to Rocket Mortgage. It also services some other originators’ loans. Even if you take out your loan from a different company, you might end up making your payments to Rocket Mortgage.

Minimum Borrower Requirements

Here are the basic criteria Rocket Mortgage requires borrowers to meet.

Minimum Credit Score

Rocket Mortgage’s minimum credit score requirements are:

  • 620 for a conventional loan
  • 580 for an FHA loan
  • 580 for a VA loan
  • 680 for a jumbo loan

If your score is lower and you want to get a mortgage with bad credit, one option is to look for lenders who offer nonqualified mortgages.

Another is to participate in Rocket Mortgage’s free Fresh Start program, which has no minimum credit score requirement. According to a company spokesperson, participants work with a licensed mortgage banker who specializes in credit for the purpose of a mortgage.

The banker will look at your credit report to identify the most impactful actions you can take to improve your credit to qualify for a home loan, such as paying down debt or paying off collections. While it will be your responsibility to call your creditors, the Fresh Start program can work with the credit bureaus to update your credit score quickly and remove accounts in dispute from your credit report.

Minimum Down Payment

Down payment requirements are minimal: 0% for VA loans, as little as 3% for certain conventional loans, and 3.5% for FHA loans.

What Fees Will You Pay?

Most lenders charge fees, but some charge higher fees than others. Lenders with no origination fee often make up for it by charging borrowers a higher interest rate. Here’s what Rocket Mortgage charges.

Origination Fees

Rocket Mortgage charges around $1,200 for mortgage processing and underwriting. The appraisal and other services from different vendors will add to your closing costs, as is the case with any mortgage. With any lender, you’ll be able to evaluate the fees for your specific loan on your loan estimate before you commit, and there will be certain mortgage services you can shop for to look for lower fees.

Rate Lock Fees

Rocket Mortgage will lock your rate for 15, 45, 60 or 90 days, with some restrictions. Rocket Mortgage offers a five-day lock extension that costs 0.125 points ($125 per $100,000 borrowed) and a 15-day extension that costs 0.25 points ($250 per $100,000 borrowed). Rocket Mortgage allows up to two 15-day extensions.

Once you’ve locked your rate with Rocket Mortgage, there’s no standard float-down option. This means that if rates drop after you lock your rate, you’d have to cancel your application and start over with a new lender, delaying your closing. Some lenders do offer a float-down option, and you’ll often pay a fee to exercise it.

If you’re still shopping for a home and want to lock your rate so you know exactly how much house you can afford, you can use Rocket Mortgage’s Rate Shield program. For a fee of 0.75 basis points ($750 per $100,000 borrowed), you can lock your rate for 90 days without a purchase agreement. If interest rates are lower when you go under contract, Rocket Mortgage will float your rate down.

Prepayment Penalties

Rocket Mortgage does not charge prepayment penalties, which is typical for first mortgages on a primary residence. Rocket Mortgage also does not charge borrowers any monthly payment fees on its loans.

How to Apply with Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage allows you to submit a complete mortgage application online, including uploading documents like bank statements and pay stubs. By submitting this information before you shop for a home, you can get a verified approval letter showing that an underwriter has checked out your finances and you’re a serious buyer.

This efficient process means there’s no need to submit your personal information first just to get a callback from a loan officer. In fact, back in 1998, Rocket Mortgage (then under the Quicken Loans brand) was one of the first companies to embrace the convenience the internet could bring to mortgage applicants. The company has offered electronic mortgage document signing since 2002, a service some other lenders still do not do.

Approval, Underwriting and Closing Timelines

No matter what type of mortgage you apply for, you can expect to get preapproved (or declined) in as little as eight minutes, and usually within 24 hours of submitting your request.

Once you apply, the company can underwrite your loan in as little as one hour, but more commonly within two days.

Rocket Mortgage says it can close a loan in eight days in a best-case scenario. On average, Rocket Mortgage closes its loans in 26 days, according to a company spokesperson. The company’s average time to close a conventional refinance is 21 days, and the average time to close a conventional purchase loan is 36 days.

You can sign your loan disclosures and closing documents electronically with Rocket Mortgage, which can help speed up the process.

What to Do If You Get Turned Down

While the company has long been a technological innovator, it mainly offers inside-the-box financing. There’s a good chance you’ll need to take steps to improve your credit score, reduce your debt or increase your income to qualify with Rocket Mortgage if your application is denied. The more you can accomplish in these areas, the more likely you are to not only get approved but get a better rate. Don’t forget to look into the Fresh Start Program.

If you’re in a hurry, however, you may be able to get approved with a different lender that has looser criteria. A lender that offers non-QM loans may be able to meet your needs if you’re willing to pay a higher interest rate.

Getting a co-signer or co-borrower may be an option, but asking someone to take on a mortgage with you is no small commitment, especially if this person is not residing in the home. To get an idea of what you can afford without help, use our mortgage calculator.

Before you figure out your next steps, it’s a good idea to apply with several mortgage lenders to see where you stand. Don’t worry about hurting your credit score: Submitting multiple applications within 45 days will have the same impact on your score as submitting a single application, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Methodology 

We graded Rocket Mortgage based on elements that have a meaningful impact on the cost of the mortgage; borrower eligibility requirements; the variety of loan options; and loan features that can impact the homebuying process. Our scoring method is based on the following categories:

  • Interest rate: 20%
  • Down payment requirements: 20%
  • Credit score minimum requirements: 20%
  • Alternative credit data considered: 10%
  • Preapproval time: 10%
  • Closing timelines: 10%
  • Loan types: 10%
  • Lender discounts offered: 5 bonus points

While there are certainly more features that lenders offer, we chose not to include these in our scoring in order to bring forward lenders that have the most competitive rates and are among the most accessible for borrowers of all financial backgrounds.

Our focus on affordability, accessibility and key features that can impact the homebuying process (like preapproval time and closing timelines) is what we consider reflective of today’s consumer’s top priorities when comparison shopping for mortgage lenders.

To Get A Mortgage Preapproval

Preapproval Vs. Prequalification

Preapproval and prequalification are both ways of understanding how much you’ll be able to get approved for. There are some slight differences between these two processes, though some lenders use these terms interchangeably.

A mortgage prequalification is like a preapproval, but it may not be as accurate. With a prequalification, you won’t have to provide as much information about your finances, and your lender won’t pull your credit.

Without your credit report, your lender can only give you estimates. This means the approval amount, loan program and interest rate might change as the lender gets more information. Because a prequalification is an initial review of your finances, you usually don’t need to supply documentation (like bank statements and pay stubs) during this stage.

Preapprovals are more in-depth than prequalifications. When you get preapproved, you may be required to provide information or documents like bank statements and pay stubs to prove your income and the funds you’re using to get the loan. A preapproval will also require a hard credit check so your lender can get your credit score and see how much other debt you have.

Preapproval Vs. Approval

A preapproval is helpful when you’re shopping for a home, but you’ll need to get a full approval once you find your home, and simply getting a preapproval before you start looking at properties doesn't guarantee you’ll get approved. For your lender, this process includes making sure the property details check out.

Here are a few property details your lender will need to approve:

  • The appraisal value: Your lender will order an appraisal of the home to make sure you’re not paying more for the home than it’s actually worth. An appraisal that comes back lower than the purchase price could pose problems for your loan.
  • The title: Your lender will work with a title company to confirm who owns the property and make sure there are no claims or liens against it.
  • The home’s condition: Some loans require that the property meets certain standards before the loan can close. For instance, if you’re purchasing the home with an FHA loan, things like cracked windows, missing handrails or a roof in poor condition could keep the loan from clos

How To Get Preapproved For A Mortgage

Before you’re preapproved for a home loan, work with your lender to verify your financial information and obtain a loan estimate. Let’s walk through each of the steps and review the parts of the process you’ll be responsible for.

Collect Your Documentation

The preapproval process is essentially a mortgage application. This means your lender or loan officer will want to take a comprehensive look at your finances. You should be prepared to provide information on the following:

  • Proof of income
  • Employment verification
  • Proof of assets
  • Credit history
  • Identification
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

Before starting the preapproval process, you'll want the necessary documentation to ensure the process goes smoothly. Here are a few items you should have on your mortgage preapproval checklist:

  • W-2 statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Bank statements
  • License
  • Social Security number

Once you've submitted all your information to the lender, you can expect to receive your loan estimate within 3 business days, though this may be much shorter if you use an online mortgage lender. The loan estimate will let you know whether you've been preapproved and for how much.

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