Rocket Mortgage Review for 2021

Rocket Mortgage’s new ad campaign says “Rocket Can.” But can this all-digital home lender meet your needs?

Lending flexibility 4.5
Customer service 4.5
Ease of application 4.5
Online experience 4.5
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, which also provides mortgages online.

Together, Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans lead the nation in mortgage loan originations. They’re also the second-largest lenders for FHA and VA loans.

Interest rates for Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans tend to be a little above the industry average. But it's hard to beat the quality and ease of Rocket's online mortgage application process or top its customer satisfaction ratings.

If you’re interested in working with Rocket or Quicken, you should get a custom estimate and compare rates with a few other lenders to find the best deal.


Rocket Mortgage vs Quicken Loans

Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans are owned by the same company, Rocket Companies, Inc., of Detroit. But these lenders serve slightly different purposes.

Rocket Mortgage is Quicken’s online mortgage platform, offering a digital application process in all 50 states.

Quicken does more of the behind-the-scenes work. It underwrites and processes the loans Rocket customers apply for online. Although, Quicken itself still offers loan options over the phone and online.

Rocket is also a loan servicer, which means it may manage your home loan and take mortgage payments over the life of the loan.

Quicken and Rocket have the same loan requirements and interest rates, so you can apply with whichever one you prefer and expect the same deal.

Check rates from Rocket Mortgage today, April 19, 2021

Rocket Mortgage rates

Rocket Mortgage rates tend to be slightly above market average on any given day.

But remember, average rates are only a benchmark. Your own mortgage rate could be higher or lower than most depending on factors like your down payment, credit score, credit report, and debt-to-income ratio.

Average 30-year mortgage rates at major banks

 
Rocket Mortgage (Quicken Loans)
Wells Fargo
Chase
Bank of America
Average 30-Year Interest Rate, 2019
4.16% 4.22% 4.22% 4.05%
Monthly P&I Payment
$973 $980 $980 $961
Median Loan Costs, 2019
$5,075 $3,484 $3,440 $3,918
Median Origination Charges, 2019
$2,805 $1,199 $1,279 $1,265

To see what rate Rocket Mortgage can offer you, you’ll need to get a custom quote from the company.

The numbers contained in these rate quotes should typically be reliable.

Yes, you have to be entirely honest with the information you provide. And yes, you can adjust things later, when you finalize your purchase price or have to change that amount after an appraisal.

You’ll also have a good range of options if you want to purchase discount points. That’s when you pay a bit more upfront on closing to buy a lower mortgage rate.

But, unless you change such things yourself, you can generally rely on the rate quote you receive online to be accurate.

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

*Monthly principal and interest payment based on a $250,000 home price, with 20% down, at each lender’s average 30-year interest rate for 2019. Your own rate and monthly payment will vary.

Check rates from Rocket Mortgage today, April 19, 2021

Rocket Mortgage loan types

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 conventional 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 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.

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.

Quicken (Rocket’s parent company) will verify your financial information by checking your pay stubs, recent bank statements, and credit score.

Rocket and Quicken say they’ll complete the pre-approval process in just 24 hours. You can start your Rocket Mortgage pre-approval here.

Rocket Mortgage eligibility

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

To get approved for a conventional loan with Rocket you’d need a FICO credit score of 620, and you may be able to buy with as little as 3% down.

Applicants with credit scores lower than 620 may still qualify for an FHA loan with 3.5% down. To qualify with a credit score between 500 and 580, you’ll need to make a 10% down payment instead of the FHA’s minimum 3.5% requirement.

And your credit score isn’t everything.

Rocket 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.

Verify your mortgage eligibility (Apr 19th, 2021)

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 doesn’t 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.

Company
Mortgage Originations 2019
CFPB Complaints 
Complaints per 1,000 Mortgages
2020 JD Power Rating
Rocket Mortgage (Quicken Loans)
774,900 187 0.24 883/1,000
Wells Fargo
1,026,800 342 0.33 840/1,000
Chase
527,600 188 0.36 860/1,000
Bank of America
466,552 245 0.53 860/1,000

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 — at less than one per thousand mortgages.

Should I use Rocket Mortgage?

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.

Naturally, 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 “good” borrower: reasonably creditworthy and with debts you can easily afford.

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 much harder to find such an easy-to-use online application or higher customer satisfaction ratings.

Check rates from Rocket Mortgage today, April 19, 2021

Rocket Mortgage FAQ

What is Rocket Mortgage?

Rocket Mortgage is an online mortgage platform offered by Quicken Loans. The two companies have the same loan types and pricing, but a slightly different experience. Rocket lets you take the mortgage or refinance process 100% online — including e-signing your closing papers from home. It’s meant to be the easiest and fastest way to get a mortgage from Quicken.

Where can you get a loan with Rocket Mortgage?

Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans (NMLS no. 3030) do not have any physical branches. However, borrowers can apply with Rocket Mortgage online in all 50 states. Phone support is available if you need it, but it’s also possible to complete the whole mortgage process digitally.

What is the minimum credit score for Rocket Mortgage?

Rocket Mortgage allows credit scores starting at 580 for FHA loans. Other loan types have higher credit score requirements. Rocket’s minimum credit score is 620 for conventional and VA loans. Rocket indicates it will consider applicants with credit scores below 580 for FHA loans in some circumstances.

Does Rocket Mortgage do VA loans?

Yes — Rocket Mortgage offers VA loans for qualified service members and veterans. VA mortgages, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, allow zero down payment and typically have lower mortgage rates than other loans. To get a VA loan from Rocket or parent company Quicken, you’ll need a credit score of at least 620.

Can I get a Rocket Mortgage home equity loan?

Rocket Mortgage does not offer home equity loans. Neither does its parent company, Quicken. However, Rocket Mortgage and Quicken both offer cash-out refinancing, which is another way to tap into your home equity.

How long does Rocket Mortgage approval take?

Rocket Mortgage says it can pre-approve customers for a mortgage in 24 hours.

Note: Pre-approval is different from pre-qualification. Pre-approval verifies your income, assets, and credit, so the amount you’re approved to borrow is actually verified. With Rocket Mortgage, this is called “Verified Approval.”

Pre-qualification is faster, but it’s simply an estimate of what you can afford based on your answer to a few questions. You can’t make an offer on a house based on a pre-qualification. With Rocket Mortgage, this is called “Prequalified Approval.” (You can see how the terminology might get confusing.)

How much are closing costs with Rocket Mortgage?

Expect closing costs with Rocket Mortgage to be between 3% and 6% of your loan amount. For a $250,000 loan, that means closing costs could be anywhere from $7,500 to $15,000.

The percentage usually drops as the loan size gets larger. For instance, you’d be unlikely to pay Rocket $15,000 in closing costs for that $250,000 loan — they’d likely be closer to the 3% end.

Rocket Mortgage reports its loan origination fees usually range between 0.5% and 1% of the loan amount.

Is Rocket Mortgage the best lender for you?

Rocket Mortgage and its parent company Quicken are the most popular mortgage companies in the U.S. That’s probably because they have stellar customer service 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: 3%
Minimum credit score: 620
Minimum down payment: Not Listed
Minimum credit score: Not Listed
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