Rocket Mortgage Review 2024 (2024)

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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 HomeReady
  • 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loanor 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.

Who Is Rocket Mortgage Best For?

Rocket Mortgage may be right if you:

  • Want to work with a lender that offers different types of home loans, including government-backed mortgages
  • Value flexible mortgage lengths
  • Have a poor credit score and want to work with a lender that can help you improve your credit history
  • Want to complete the entire mortgage process online

How Does Rocket Mortgage Work?

Rocket Mortgage is a direct lender that’s become popular for its speedy and convenient fully-digital application process. The company claims to be the largest originator of mortgages in America as of 2021 and the $351 billion of loans it closed shows that many borrowers prefer to complete the entire mortgage process online.

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.

Maximum Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio

The maximum DTI that Rocket Mortgage allows depends on the type of loan you’re applying for and the other aspects of your finances.

Loan typeMax DTI

Jumbo

45%

Conventional

50%

VA

60%

FHA

Determined by automated underwriting system

What Fees Does Rocket Mortgage Charge?

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. There’s no need to submit your personal information first just to get a callback from a loan officer.

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.

How To Qualify With Rocket Mortgage

To successfully get a home loan with Rocket Mortgage, you need a minimum credit score between 580 to 680, depending on the type of loan you apply for. In addition, your monthly DTI shouldn’t be more than 45%—but lower is always better. You’ll also need to provide standard financial documents, like bank statements, tax returns and pay stubs.

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).

Alternatives to Rocket Mortgage

If you’re looking to shop around with different companies, Rocket Mortgage ranks highly on Forbes Advisor’s list of best online mortgage lenders. Here you can check out and compare Rocket Mortgage with other online mortgage lenders to ensure you’re picking the right lender for you.

Rocket Mortgage vs. LoanDepot

Both lenders offer similar home purchase and refinance options with fixed or adjustable rates. Borrowers can apply for conventional, jumbo, FHA and VA home loans.

Regarding loan options, loanDepot offers a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which may only require interest-only payments for the first 10 years.

You can start the prequalification process online or speak with a loan agent by phone to review your personalized rates and fees. LoanDepot maintains a physical branch for in-person applications, too.

Both lenders only disclose rates after you submit an initial application. There are ways to minimize your borrowing costs with both lenders.

Rocket Mortgage offers several potential interest rate and loan discount programs. Home buyers can receive up to 1.5% in closing credits when using Rocket Homes. Additionally, sellers can receive a 1% rebate.

Another way for a Rocket Mortgage applicant to save on closing costs is by completing short online tasks through its loyalty program. You can receive points to redeem for closing cost credits by reading articles, watching videos, using calculators and applying for a loan.

If you plan on refinancing with the same lender, loanDepot can reduce your lifetime borrowing costs. Its Lifetime Guarantee serves as a loyalty discount by waiving qualifying lender fees when you refinance an existing loanDepot mortgage or HELOC in the future.

Rocket Mortgage vs. Better Mortgage

Home buyers can acquire conventional, FHA, VA or jumbo home loans from both lenders. Rate-and-term and cash-out refinances are also available.

You can start the application process for either lender online or by phone to review your rates and loan fees. Both lenders offer daily phone support and Better’s agents are available 24/7.

If you need help buying or selling a property, either platform can connect you with a partner real estate agent. Completing a transaction through Rocket Homes or Better Real Estate may allow you to save on closing costs.

Regarding closing fee discounts, Rocket Mortgage has a loyalty program to earn points by completing qualifying activities that you can redeem at closing to reduce fees.

Better Mortgage doesn’t have a loyalty program, but the company’s Better Closing Guarantee reimburses borrowers up to $2,000 if lender-caused delays or issues postpone your estimated closing date.

Faster, easier mortgage lending

Check your rates today with Better Mortgage.

Refinancing With Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage offers a variety of conventional, FHA, VA and jumbo mortgage refinance options. You can choose a rate-and-term refinance, which doesn’t tap your home equity, or a cash-out refinance to receive a lump sum at distribution.

Minimum borrower requirements differ by loan program. Basic guidelines include:

  • Credit score. Typically, you need a minimum credit score of 620, but your score can be as low as 580 to qualify for the FHA streamline and VA IRRRL programs.
  • Debt-to-income ratio. The maximum DTI ratio varies by program. However, lenders prefer to see a DTI ratio at or below 36%.
  • Home equity. Applying with at least 20% equity makes qualifying for competitive rates easier and avoids private mortgage insurance (PMI). Government-backed programs can have more lenient equity standards.
  • Home appraisal. A full appraisal is necessary for most refinance applications, with streamlined mortgage refinancing being the exception.

Rocket Mortgage’s refinance application process is similar to applying for a purchase loan as you’ll need to provide the same basic documents. The typical underwriting period is from 30 to 45 days, although it can differ by borrower and the lender’s current application volume.

How To Choose the Best Mortgage Lender

It’s important to shop around before selecting a lender for your mortgage loan—doing so can land you a lower rate, which, in turn, can help you save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. You can also leverage a loan estimate from one lender to potentially negotiate a lower rate with another lender.

Affordability

Like most lenders, Rocket Mortgage charges closing fees on its home loans. However, the amount varies depending on several factors, including the type of loan, the size of the loan and your credit history.

Rocket Mortgage recommends setting aside between 3% and 6% of the purchase price to pay for your closing costs. In addition, you can expect to pay about 1% of the purchase price toward a loan origination fee.

Accessibility

The entire application process can be done online unless you are self-employed. Rocket Mortgage also works with unqualified borrowers to improve their credit profiles.

Borrower Experience

Rocket Mortgage’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is 2.51 out of 5 stars based on 1,718 reviews as of March 2023. Nearly 400 complaints about the company in the last 12 months have been closed.

The BBB gives Rocket Mortgage an A+ rating, but this rating isn’t based on customer reviews. It’s based on how the company responds to complaints, its time in business, size and other factors.

The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database shows 1,274 mortgage complaints about Rocket Mortgage from January 2019 through February 2023. Most complaints pertain to conventional mortgages or FHA mortgages and its application process. The company provided a timely response to nearly all complaints. The CFPB does not verify the accuracy of consumers’ complaints.

While these numbers may seem high, they’re relatively insignificant compared to the number of customers utilizing Rocket Mortgage’s services.

Methodology

We graded Rocket Mortgage based on features that have a meaningful impact on the cost of a mortgage and a borrower’s experience, including interest rates, loan options, accessibility, closing time and customer service.

We award bonus points if a lender offers a specialty rate discount or mortgage product, a home equity product or maintains a fully online mortgage application process.

Our scoring method is broken down as follows:

  • Interest rate. 20%
  • Loan options. 20%
  • Time to close. 20%
  • Accessibility. 20%
  • Customer service experience. 20%
  • Bonus points. Up to 25 points

We chose to focus on these core elements to bring forward lenders that offer the most competitive rates while also providing a satisfactory customer experience accessible to borrowers of all financial backgrounds. We believe this scoring system best reflects consumers’ top priorities when comparison shopping for mortgage lenders.

To learn more about our rating and review methodology and editorial process, check out our guide on How Forbes Advisor Reviews Mortgage Lenders.

Faster, easier mortgage lending

Check your rates today with Better Mortgage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What credit score do I need to get approved by Rocket Mortgage?

In general, you’ll want a credit score of 620 to borrow from Rocket Mortgage. However, Rocket says they approve mortgages for borrowers with a credit score of just 580—and in some cases, those with an even lower score may still qualify assuming you meet other criteria. The company also offers a program that helps you improve your credit.

Related: What Credit Score Is Needed To Buy A House?

How long does a Rocket Mortgage preapproval take?

Rocket’s preapproval process is called “Verified Approval” and it usually takes about 24 hours. However, as Rocket notes on its website, there are times when a lender needs to ask for additional information before completing the process, which can add some time.

How long does it take to refinance with Rocket Mortgage?

Rocket doesn’t make any promises about how quickly you can refinance your mortgage with them. However, it note on its website that, though every situation is different, a refinance typically takes 30 to 45 days.

That said, Rocket does offer several varieties of streamlined refinances, including those for VA loans, USDA loans and FHA mortgages. Refinancing loans apply to homeowners who already have a mortgage backed by one of these government entities and want to get the same type of loan again.

Will applying for a mortgage with Rocket Mortgage hurt my credit?

Applying for a mortgage with Rocket, like with any lender, will likely create a small dent in your credit score. That’s because the credit bureaus that set your scores assume any inquiry means you’re taking out more debt. However, if you start paying a new mortgage on time and in full, any effect from those inquiries will quickly fade away.

Related: How Credit Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

How hard is it to get a mortgage from Rocket Mortgage?

Rocket Mortgage says there are some circumstances where a credit score of 580 is enough, but borrowers usually need a score of 620 to get a home loan. The lender offers fewer options for borrowers that don’t meet traditional credit or income requirements, but it’ll work with you to boost your credit.

Does Rocket Mortgage always require an appraisal?

Rocket Mortgage usually requires an appraisal before approving a mortgage loan. It uses a third-party company to order the appraisal for you.

As an expert in the field of mortgage financing, I have a deep understanding of the concepts and practices involved in the industry. My expertise is rooted in extensive knowledge gained through years of experience and continuous learning. I have a comprehensive understanding of the various types of mortgages, lender practices, credit requirements, and the overall mortgage application process.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts presented in the Forbes article about Rocket Mortgage:

Mortgage Types Offered by Rocket Mortgage:

  1. Conventional Mortgages: Standard mortgages not backed by government agencies.
  2. Government-Backed Mortgages:
    • Fannie Mae HomeReady
    • Freddie Mac Home Possible
    • VA IRRRL: Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan
    • VA Cash-Out Refinance
    • FHA
    • FHA Streamline Refinance
    • FHA Cash-Out Refinance
  3. Jumbo Loans: Loans exceeding the conforming loan limits.
  4. Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs):
    • Available with conventional loans for 5, 7, or 10 years.
    • Available with FHA and VA loans for 5 years.

Loan Limits:

  • Jumbo Loan: Up to $2.5 million.
  • VA Loan: Up to $2 million.

Loan Servicing:

  • Rocket Mortgage services most loans it originates, except for jumbo loans.

Borrower Requirements:

  1. Credit Scores:
    • Conventional: 620
    • FHA: 580
    • VA: 580
    • Jumbo: 680
    • Fresh Start Program for low credit scores.
  2. Down Payment:
    • 0% for VA loans
    • As little as 3% for certain conventional loans
    • 3.5% for FHA loans
  3. Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio:
    • Varies by loan type (e.g., 45% for jumbo, 50% for conventional, 60% for VA).

Fees Charged by Rocket Mortgage:

  1. Origination Fees: Around $1,200 for processing and underwriting.
  2. Rate Lock Fees: Vary based on lock duration.
  3. Prepayment Penalties: Not charged.

Application Process:

  • Entirely online, with a fully digital application process.
  • Quick preapproval (as little as eight minutes) and efficient underwriting.

Refinancing with Rocket Mortgage:

  • Offers various refinancing options for conventional, FHA, VA, and jumbo mortgages.
  • Minimum requirements include credit score, DTI ratio, home equity, and, in most cases, a full appraisal.

Choosing the Best Mortgage Lender:

  • Important to shop around for the best rates and terms.
  • Rocket Mortgage's affordability and accessibility highlighted, with closing cost recommendations.

Borrower Experience and Reviews:

  • BBB rating of 2.51/5 based on customer reviews.
  • A+ BBB rating based on the company's response to complaints.
  • CFPB records show mortgage-related complaints but with timely responses.

Methodology and Scoring:

  • Forbes Advisor's grading methodology based on interest rates, loan options, closing time, accessibility, and customer service.
  • Bonus points awarded for additional features.

FAQs:

  1. Credit Score Requirement: Generally 620, but Rocket Mortgage approves some borrowers with scores as low as 580.
  2. Preapproval Time: Verified Approval process takes about 24 hours.
  3. Refinancing Time: Typically 30 to 45 days, with streamlined options available.
  4. Credit Impact of Application: Applying may cause a small temporary impact on credit score.
  5. Getting a Mortgage with Rocket Mortgage: Requires a credit score (usually 620), but options for lower credit scores are available.

By providing a detailed analysis of the key concepts, I aim to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the mortgage industry and contribute valuable insights for readers seeking information on Rocket Mortgage.

Rocket Mortgage Review 2024 (2024)
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