PROS / Quicken Loans has a program where it pays private mortgage insurance for people who have less than a 20 percent down payment.
CONS / This lender does not offer construction loans or home equity financing.
VERDICT / Quicken Loans offers conventional and government-program mortgages and refinancing options for loans from eight to 30 years. Its rates varied greatly by loan situation, so it's best to call a loan officer, but its willingness to work with higher debt-to-income ratios and special programs make it an excellent choice for a mortgage lender.
Quicken Loans is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner for mortgage and refinance loans because of its flexible programs to help you get a home loan that meets your financial needs. Its rates and fees are highly dependent on the loan situation, so it's best to contact a loan agent for the most accurate interest rates.
Rates & Fees
We found an interesting disparity among the interest rates from Quicken Loans. The posted interest rates for the day we checked were among the highest, but when we called for the rates for a specific loan case, they were significantly lower. On the other hand, the posted adjustable rates were the lowest of all the mortgage lenders we reviewed, but the rate for our test case was the second highest. Your best bet is to call and get a quote for your particular situation.
It charges a standard $1,049 underwriting fee, which is part of your closing costs, but Quicken Loans may reduce your closing costs for specific cases. One loan officer told us they "sometimes" charge application fees as well. Only two mortgage lenders on our lineup charge an application fee.
Eligibility & Requirements
Quicken Loans prefers a 620 credit score, which is about average for most mortgage lenders. However, it accepts a debt-to-income ratio of as high as 57 percent. This is almost 10 percentage points higher than most lenders, so if you have high debt but believe you can handle the mortgage payments, Quicken Loans could be your best bet for a loan.
If you have less than 20 percent saved for a down payment, and you do not qualify for a special program such as a VA loan, you will have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI adds thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Quicken Loans offers a program that pays the PMI for you in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate.
We had variable luck with the online chat. The first person we spoke to, an "executive purchase banker," was patronizing and more focused on convincing us to apply than on answering our questions. The second person we chatted with, a purchase banker, was polite and willing to answer questions, even some tricky ones. The company responded to our email questions with a compliment on the quality of the questions and a suggestion we contact a loan specialist.
The loan officers we spoke to on the phone were generally helpful. We were able to get a quote on interest rates for our test case loan situation. We spoke to three different agents. One gave us general answers – "depends," and "sometimes" – while the others gave more concrete information.
If you contact this company, be prepared to be on its mailing and calling lists. We have received newsletters and phone calls, sometimes from multiple agents in the same day. Once we asked to be removed from the list, the calls stopped.
Nonetheless, this mortgage lender has very high customer service rankings from people who have secured loans from them, according to a reputable customer-satisfaction ranking company. You can find testimonials on its website. In the past, customer complaints posted online were met with quick responses by the company offering to research and resolve the situation.
Loan Types Offered
Quicken Loans offers mortgage and refinancing loans at fixed and adjustable rates, but not home-equity financing. It can work with the common government programs like FHA and VA loans. While its usual loan terms are 15 and 30 years, it has a YOURgage program that lets you get a fixed rate loan for as few as eight years and up to 30 years. This program could help you refinance at a lower interest rate without extending the amount of time you are paying a mortgage, or it can be used for a new home purchase. It also offers jumbo mortgages for home purchases of $417,000 to $3 million, and reverse mortgages for homeowners over 62 years old.
If you have less than 20 percent for a down payment, most loan programs require you also purchase private mortgage insurance. Quicken Loans has a program which pays this insurance in return for a charging a slightly higher interest rate. This could save you money in the long run, but you should run the numbers before committing to the program.
If your debt is higher than average, Quicken Loans may be a good bet for securing a home loan. In addition to having a higher DTI tolerance than most mortgage lenders, it has multiple programs to help reduce payments. It does not offer construction loans, but can do jumbo loans for up to $3 million. It's definitely worth considering as you price out home loans.