Quicken VA Loans: Pros and Cons
The two big things Quicken has going for it is its excellent customer service and outstanding online tools. A potential downside for certain customers are the lender’s lack of physical locations.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, Quicken is better than most mortgage providers. In fact, the company is one of the few in the mortgage landscape to receive an “Among the Best” rating in J.D. Power’s 2019 Primary Mortgage Origination Customer Satisfaction Study.
Quicken has also spent a lot of time developing its online presence. A pioneer in web and mobile-based tools, the company makes it easy to apply for either a purchase or refinance loan on its website, through its mobile portal Rocket Mortgage, or by phone if customers so choose. Further adding to its online arsenal Quicken introduced its eClosing program in 2017, allowing borrowers to close a mortgage loan one of three ways: an electronic hybrid closing, an electronic notarization, or a remote notarization. By 2019 Quicken became the first lender to offer eClosings in all 50 states.
Applying for a VA loan can be a complicated process. Quicken makes this process easier by assigning a dedicated loan expert to help keep track of the required documents and make sure you meet all eligibility requirements.
That being said, Quicken may not be the best choice if you want to walk into a bank and sit down with a loan officer, as they have no branches. As with most VA lenders, Quicken also doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines of credit, only mortgage purchase or refinance loans.
Quicken VA Loans Key Facts
|Minimum credit score of 620|
|Debt-to-income ratio as high as 60%|
|Don’t need private mortgage insurance|
|May not need down payment|
|Quicken can help obtain Certificate of Eligibility|
|Rate and term refinances|
|Cash-out and cash-in refinance|
Quicken Loans Company Information
Quicken Loans was originally founded in 1985 as a traditional brick and mortar lender called Rock Financial. Renamed Rock Financial Corp. in 1987, RFC quickly became one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country. In January 1999, it launched an online mortgage lending website called Rockloans.com. This eventually became Quicken loans in 2000.
The lender’s groundbreaking combination of a central office that could provide mortgage loan services to anyone anywhere in the United States defied the traditional concept of a mortgage lender. Quicken flourished during the housing bubble of 2008-09 and, by 2014, had become the nation’s second-largest mortgage originator.
In 2015, Quicken launched Rocket Mortgage, one of the first fully online mortgage lenders, which by 2018 had become the largest mortgage originator in the country. Today, Quicken is located in Detroit, employs over 19,000 people across the U.S., and is considered one of the best mortgage lenders in the country, providing a variety of loan products and excellent customer service.
Quicken VA Loan Products
Because VA loans are regulated by the Veterans Administration, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room in terms of product offerings. With Quicken you can apply for just about any type of VA Loan, including purchase loans, rate and term refinance, cash-out and cash-in refinance, and jumbo loans.
As part of the VA loan application process, you’ll need to submit a lot of paperwork. Quicken will help you keep track of all the needed documentation, including helping you apply for a Certificate of Eligibility, one of the qualification requirements of a VA loan.
You can apply for fixed-rate loans in terms of 15, 25, and 30 years. Quicken also offers a VA 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage.
Quicken VA Loans Customer Service
Despite its size, Quicken Loans is known for its easy application process, smooth online interface, and excellent customer service.
You can start your application in multiple ways, either by phone, email, chat, or online with Rocket Mortgage. You can get pre-qualified in a short period of time, and Quicken says it can make a decision about the loan within 14 days of receiving all documentation. And while VA loans have a reputation for taking longer to close than conventional loans, VA loans with Quicken usually close in about 46 days on average.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many lenders were faced with the problem of how to continue with home purchases and refinances when in-person inspections, appraisals, and closings were no longer an option.
Quicken was one step ahead and already had their digital eClosing program in place since 2017, allowing for multiple ways of finalizing a home purchase.
Finally, Quicken has received the highest ranking in J.D. Power’s Customer Satisfaction for Primary Mortgage Origination survey for ten straight years, from 2010 to 2019. It also has held J.D. Power’s highest rating for customer satisfaction above all other mortgage servicers for seven years, from 2014 through 2020.
|QUICKEN VA LOAN REQUIREMENTS|
|The purchase loan must be for a primary residence, not a vacation home or investment property|
|You or a spouse must move in within 60 days of closing. Deployments are an exception to this requirement|
|You must meet VA service requirements|
|You must have a Certificate of Eligibility|
|The home being purchased must meet the minimum VA property requirements: be in “move-in” condition and be safe, sound, and sanitary. Avoid homes that need a lot of work|
|You may qualify for a waiver of the VA funding fees if you: |
• Have a service-related disability
• Are an active duty servicemember who has been awarded the Purple Heart
• Receive or have in the past received VA disability, or
• You’re a surviving spouse who qualifies
Fees Associated with VA Loans
VA loans are backed by the Veterans Administration and don’t require a down payment (more on that later) or private mortgage insurance. Instead, in order to lower the cost of these loans for U.S. taxpayers in case of default, the VA charges a funding fee that varies with the amount of down payment a borrower makes. The less money you contribute towards a down payment, the higher the funding fee.
For first time borrowers purchasing or building a home, the funding fee will range from a low of 1.4% to a high of 2.3% of the loan. For repeat borrowers, the fees will range from 1.4% to 3.6% of the loan. Cash-out refinance loans will have fees ranging between 2.3 and 3.6%. Other VA loans will have fees between 0.5% to 2.25%. The funding fee can be paid in cash at the time of closing or included as part of the mortgage loan.
One of the biggest benefits that make VA loans stand out is called entitlement. This is an amount of money you’re entitled to that helps you purchase a home. Basic entitlement amounts start at $36,000 and can be used in place of making a down payment. In some cases, you may qualify for a higher entitlement amount, depending on the cost of the home you’re purchasing. By not having to use your cash for a down payment, that money now goes to paying closing costs.
The closing costs on your mortgage loan will be determined by Quicken, and will include things like origination and appraisal fees, credit report fees, title insurance, and taxes, among others. In general, closing costs can be between 3-5% of the loan amount. Some of these fees can be negotiated, with the seller assuming some of the costs. However, the VA does not allow the seller to pay more than 4% of the total home loan in total closing costs.
If you decide to pay off your mortgage before the end of its term, Quicken won’t charge you a prepayment penalty.
Quicken VA Loan FAQs
Does Quicken Loans offer VA loans?
Yes. The type of loans you can apply for include: purchase loans, rate and term refinance loans, jumbo loans, streamline IRRRL refinance loan, cash-out refinance and cash-in refinance loans.
Can Quicken Loans help me determine my VA eligibility?
Yes, Quicken can help you determine if you meet the VA service requirements in order to qualify for the home loan benefit and, if necessary, help you apply for your Certificate of Eligibility.
Can I do a rate lock with Quicken?
Yes, Quicken Loans offers a rate lock for its mortgage loans for periods between 60 to 90 days. You can lock in your interest rate before the underwriting process begins. However, in some areas where stay-at-home orders are still in place due to the risk of COVID-19 infections, Quicken won’t offer a rate lock until closer to closing day.
Do I need to pay for private mortgage insurance with a VA loan?
No. Because the Department of Veteran Affairs guarantees each VA loan from default, you are not required to pay for private mortgage insurance on your home loan.
Does Quicken service its own VA loans?
Yes, it services 99% of all the loan it originates, guaranteeing that you’ll have consistent care and attention throughout the life of the loan.
Quicken VA Loans: Summary and Key Takeaways
Quicken Loans is the top mortgage lender in the country and the second largest originator of VA loans. Applying for a purchase or refinance loan is easy and can be done by either calling in and talking to a loan expert, online through the website, or through Quicken’s mobile app, Rocket Mortgage.
Customer service has been Quicken’s hallmark, rating at the top of the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey for ten years in a row. It services 99% of the loan it originates and the loan officer assigned to your loan will be with you from the beginning of the application process until the loan term ends, ensuring continuity throughout the life of your loan.
With Quicken, you’ll find educational tools to help you navigate through the home buying process, determine your eligibility, and help you take advantage of your VA home loan. With Quicken’s easy application process and online pre-approvals you can be on your way to owning your home in a matter of minutes.