Quicken Loans got its start in the mid-1980s as Rock Financial. The company was purchased in 1999 by Intuit Incorporated, and became known as Quicken Loans. The company is a military-friendly mortgage servicer and is a high-volume servicer for VA mortgages and FHA home loans, both government-backed mortgage loan products for owner-occupiers who want to purchase primary residences.
According to the company’s official site, Quicken was responsible for roughly “half a trillion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states” between 2013 and 2018.
How Quicken Loans Operates
Many mortgage lenders operate as financial institutions offering other loan products such as auto loans, personal loans, etc. Quicken focuses on mortgages and refinance loans for mortgages.
Unlike financial institutions that rely on deposit accounts and other means of sustaining cash reserves for mortgage purposes, Quicken relies on wholesale funding (something that’s not really a loan applicant concern, but does affect how the company does business) and is an online-focused entity rather than an in-person, go-to-the-bank-branch operation.
Quicken offers both VA and FHA mortgages, which means that benefits of government-backed mortgage loans are areas the staff is experienced in.
Some potential borrowers complain about some VA lenders because of a perception (or reality) that the mortgage staff at those companies don’t have enough experience servicing VA mortgages to fully understand how they work.
But Quicken advertises itself as America’s “largest FHA lender and a premier Veteran Affairs (VA) lender” which means plenty of experience with the nuances of VA mortgages including navigating the VA Loan Funding Fee process for veterans who may be exempt from having to pay it, and other critical areas for vA borrowers.
What Quicken Loans Offers Veterans, Active Duty Military
Quicken Loans provides the following services:
- Quicken VA Loans and VA Refinance Loans offered to qualified active duty, veterans, service members, and certain surviving spouses with no down payment options, no mortgage insurance, and more.
- Quicken VA Streamline Refinancing which normally must result in a lower monthly payment, lower interest rate, or refinancing into a fixed-rate mortgage out of an adjustable rate mortgage. VA streamline loans are for existing VA mortgages only.
- Adjustable Rate Mortgages with “low fixed interest rate and lower monthly payments” for the first 5, 7 or 10 years depending on the agreement you make with Quicken.
- YOURgage Loans featuring fixed interest rates and terms from eight to 29 years.
- FHA Mortgages for military and nonmilitary alike, featuring options including fixed and adjustable rate loans, a low down payment requirement, and no private mortgage insurance (an FHA-required mortgage insurance premium is part of your mortgage payment).
Quick Loans Pros & Cons
- Online application combined with live mortgage advisors
- Good customer service ratings and excellent online tools
- Wide variety of loan types, including VA, FHA, Conventional, Jumbo, ARM (5/1, 7/1, 10/1), USDA, and HARP loans
- Offers loans in all 50 states
- No military or branch specific advisors unlike some military friendly competitors
- Doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs
- High fees that often don’t offset low mortgage rates
- No branch locations for face to face service
What You Need To Get A Quicken Loan
VA mortgages require a VA Certificate of Eligibility; the VA can issue you this certificate or you can ask a Quicken Loans rep to help you obtain one.
Quicken lists FICO score requirements on their official site. The FICO score requirement at the time of this writing was 620, but these requirements are subject to change and this number is only listed as a frame of reference as to what you might expect.
Quicken advises its potential customers that a debt-to-income ratio standard applies. These ratios may vary from lender to lender (Quicken lists a percentage on its official site but these rules are subject to change based on a variety of factors.)
To calculate yours, add your monthly debt payments and divide the total by your pre-tax monthly income. Have this number handy when you contact the company for more information.
Borrowers are advised to save money to cover the VA loan funding fee, which borrowers have the option of financing. Be sure to ask your lender how adding this fee to your loan amount will affect your monthly payments. Some borrowers are exempt from paying this fee, ask the loan officer for more information.
Applying For A Quicken Loan
If you need a VA, FHA, or other mortgage via Quicken Loans, you’ll be directed to apply via the company’s online Rocket Mortgage service. You can choose to apply online or submit contact information so a loan officer can get back to you to discuss your needs. Quicken Loans advertises “personalized recommendation on which loan option is best” for each applicant.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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