Rocket Mortgage Review for 2021

Rocket Mortgage is one of the best-known lenders in the nation. And with a wide range of loan products and a full suite of online tools, this mortgage company is definitely worth a closer look.

Lending flexibility 4.0
Customer service 4.5
Ease of application 5.0
Online experience 5.0
Minimum down payment 3%
Minimum credit score 580
Loan Products Offered

Fixed-rate mortgage
Adjustable-rate mortgage
Jumbo mortgage
FHA mortgage
VA mortgage

Best Features

  • True end-to-end online mortgage experience
  • Quicker and easier mortgage process than most lenders offer
  • Lots of options for customizing your loan
  • Highly rated customer service

Drawbacks

  • Rates are not always competitive
  • No branches for in-person interactions
  • No home equity loans or HELOCs
  • No USDA loans

Overview

Rocket Mortgage was launched in 2015 by Quicken Loans. And as of July 2021, Quicken has merged under the Rocket brand name.

That means Quicken/Rocket customers will apply via the online Rocket Mortgage platform moving forward. This move shows the company’s dedication to online lending and convenient, digital-first services.

And borrowers seem to like that convenience. Rocket mortgage consistently gets top marks for its customer service.

In addition, Rocket’s mortgage interest rates are very competitive on average. So if you’re interested in Rocket Mortgage, this company is certainly worth a closer look.


Rocket Mortgage rates

In 2020 — the most recent data available — Rocket mortgage rates were a little lower on average than some top competitors.

Average mortgage rates at major lenders

  Rocket Mortgage Wells Fargo Freedom Mortgage US Bank
Average 30-Year Interest Rate, 20201 3.20% 3.62% 2.92% 3.61%
Median Total Loan Costs, 2020 $4,610 $3,370 $3,340 $3,500
Median Origination Fee, 2020 $2,950 $1,280 $0 $1,170

Of course, mortgage interest rates change frequently. And rates vary a lot by customer, too. Your own rate depends on factors like your credit score, down payment, loan type, and home price.

That means you shouldn’t take average rates (or advertised rates) at face value.

Instead, pick 3-5 lenders you’re interested in and get rate quotes from each one. Then compare the interest rates and fees you’re offered to see which lender can offer you the best deal.

Average rate and fee data are sourced from public records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Check your new mortgage rate. Start here (Sep 23rd, 2021)

Rocket Mortgage review for 2021

Rocket Mortgage describes itself this way: “If you don’t have the patience for banks and want a fast, convenient way to see your mortgage options, you should give Rocket Mortgage a try.”

So, is this all-digital lender really worth it? Its satisfaction scores suggest that current customers don’t have much to complain about.

Of course, we’d only recommend Rocket to those who are comfortable using its online application processes. The lender promises “expert advice when you need it” from its home loan experts. But the whole idea is that the system itself is so expert it will gently lead you through the entire experience.

And it helps if you’re a “safe” borrower — meaning Rocket tends to prefer homeowners with a decent credit score and reasonable debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

Having said that, the website does say this lender will entertain applications from those with scores as low as 580. These borrowers will be directed to FHA loans and may need to make a down payment of 10%.

You might find lower rates elsewhere, but it’s harder to find such an easy-to-use online application or higher customer satisfaction ratings. So if those things appeak to you, Rocket Mortgage just might make your shortlist.

Working with Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage offers rich online and mobile functionality.

It provides a secure environment where you can communicate with loan officers, upload documents, monitor your loan information, and access your closing documents.

In fact, if you really don’t want to talk to another person, you can opt to communicate via its Talk to Us page. But you always have the option to talk to a real live home loan expert over the phone.

Rocket Mortgage pre-approval

Your journey with Rocket Mortgage — or any other lender — should begin with a mortgage pre-approval.

A pre-approval letter shows real estate agents and home sellers you’re serious about buying and have financing in place to make an offer. Pre-approvals can also confirm your price range by showing how much you could borrow.

Rocket’s pre-approval process happens entirely online. You’ll need to provide some financial information, including your income, assets, and debts, along with supporting documents to verify these numbers.

Rocket’s underwriters will verify your financial information by checking your pay stubs, recent bank statements, and credit score.

This company says it can complete the pre-approval process in just 24 hours.

Rocket Mortgage eligibility

Rocket Mortgage underwriting guidelines aren’t too different from other mainstream lenders.  Your income, assets, credit report, and existing debts will all help determine whether you’d qualify for a mortgage loan.

Expect to need a credit score of at least 620 for a conventional loan and 580 for an FHA or VA mortgage.  

And your credit score isn’t everything.

The company will also calculate your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), a measure of your ability to repay the loan. Rocket suggests your DTI should not exceed 50%.

Rocket will guide you through the process of uploading financial documents including W2s, pay stubs, bank statements, and proof of assets such as IRA balances or other sources of supplemental income.

Mortgage qualifying is never an exact science. That’s why it’s important to shop around with a variety of lenders, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.

Rocket Mortgage application process

Unlike other lenders — who may offer an online application but quickly transition you to an in-person or over-the-phone loan officer — Rocket’s process begins and ends online.

Rocket’s website or app can guide you to a specific loan product by asking a series of questions. Then it can guide you through the loan application and underwriting process.

You can reach out to a home loan expert if needed, but you could also finance your home without speaking to anyone at Rocket.

Even first-time homeowners who aren’t familiar with the borrowing process should be able to navigate Rocket Mortgage’s loan application. 

Rocket Mortgage customer service reviews

Rocket Mortgage may not always offer the lowest rates, but its customer satisfaction is a huge draw for many borrowers.

Quicken and Rocket have topped J.D. Power’s U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study for 11 years running, earning top scores in categories like application/approval process; communication; loan closing; and loan offerings.

In case you’re researching these results, Rocket Mortgage tends to be lumped in with Quicken Loans in customer satisfaction surveys.

Customer service reviews at major lenders

  CFPB Complaints, 20204  Complaints Per 100 Mortgages, 20205 JD Power Satisfaction Score, 20206
Rocket Mortgage 391 0.03 883/1,000
Wells Fargo 554 0.05 840/1,000
Freedom Mortgage 288 0.04 817/1,000
US Bank 158 0.03 848/1,000

Unsurprisingly, Rocket and Quicken’s high satisfaction scores are reflected in low complaints.

Federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau maintains a public, online database of consumer complaints against mortgage lenders. And in it, Quicken Loans has one of the lowest numbers of complaints — less than one per one hundred mortgages.

Mortgage loan products at Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage can offer the following loan options:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) — Most people choose a 30-year fixed-rate loan. But with Rocket’s YOURGage program, you can choose a term anywhere from 8 to 30 years
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) — These can be more affordable than fixed-rate mortgages at first, but they come with the risk of higher rates later. You can fix your rate for a period of 5, 7, or 10 years, after which it will move up and down with the market
  • FHA loans — Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, FHA loans are great for home buyers with imperfect credit and low down payments (minimum 3.5% of the purchase price). But they come with high monthly mortgage insurance payments
  • VA loans — Eligible service members, veterans, and surviving spouses can buy homes with no down payment, lower credit requirements, and no continuing mortgage insurance payments
  • Jumbo loans — Borrow up to $3 million, if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s conforming loan caps are cramping your style

The big things Rocket doesn’t offer are construction loans, home equity loans, and USDA-backed loans.

USDA loans help rural home buyers and require no down payment. If you’re interested in this type of mortgage, you’ll need to check out some other lenders.

Refinancing with Rocket Mortgage

Homeowners who’d like to refinance for a lower rate or a shorter loan term can use any of the products above, assuming they qualify.

There are other good reasons to refinance, too. For example, ARM borrowers may want to refinance into a fixed-rate loan. Or an FHA borrower could refinance into a conventional loan to remove mortgage insurance payments.

Rocket customers can access most major refi programs, including:

  • FHA Streamline — A product designed specifically to help existing FHA homeowners access today’s lower rates without much hassle
  • VA IRRRL — This loan can refinance an existing VA loan into a new VA loan at a lower rate with low fees
  • Cash-out refinance — Replace your existing loan with a larger loan and keep the extra cash for home improvements, debt consolidation, or any other needs

Rocket does not offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). But for the right homeowner, cash-out refinancing can serve a similar purpose.

Is Rocket Mortgage the best lender for you?

Rocket Mortgage is one of the most popular mortgage companies in the U.S. That’s probably because it has stellar customer service reviews and a whole host of great online tools.

In other words, if you want to get a mortgage quickly and easily, Rocket is worth a look.

Just keep in mind that rates from any single company aren’t competitive for everyone.

Compare a Loan Estimate from Rocket Mortgage with a few other companies to be sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

Compare to These Lenders

Minimum down payment: 0%
Minimum credit score: 620
Minimum down payment: 3%
Minimum credit score: 580
Minimum down payment: 3%
Minimum credit score: 580

Sources:

  1. Average mortgage rates and fees sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Rates and fees shown reflect the previous year’s data and may not align with today’s mortgage rates
  2. Monthly principal and interest payments calculated using TheMortgageReports.com mortgage calculator. Payments shown are based on a $200,000 loan amount and assume a “very good” credit score. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Your own monthly payment will vary
  3. Number of mortgage originations for the previous year sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
  4. CFPB Complaints reflect the number of mortgage origination or closing-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the previous year
  5. Complaints per 1000 mortgages reflect the number of official complaints filed against a lender with the CFPB for the previous year, compared to the lender’s total number of mortgage originations for the previous year
  6. JD Power Rating reflects the company’s customer satisfaction score according to JD Power’s most recent Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. Survey respondents score their lenders in four areas: application/approval process, communication, loan closing, and loan offerings