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Rocket Mortgage Review for August 2022

Rocket Mortgage is one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the country.

Rocket Mortgage is the largest online retail mortgage lender in the US. This online lender offers a wealth of educational content on its website to help buyers better understand the mortgage and home-buying processes. 

Its website has multiple, easy-to-use mortgage calculators to help you determine how much house you can afford. Rocket Mortgage is one of the top lenders of FHA loans, which are lower, flexible down payment options for first-time home buyers. It is also one of the largest securitizers of VA loans, which are lower-cost mortgages for veterans and their family members. 

Rocket Mortgage

Like

  • Fast, convenient underwriting process with verified approval
  • Offers FHA loans for condominiums (a rare find)
  • No fee to lock interest rate for 45 days

Don't Like

  • No physical branches, though it partners with independent brokers with physical locations
  • No free float down for interest rate locks
  • No USDA loans or HELOCs

Rocket Mortgage offers an option called Overnight Underwrite, a fast, verified approval tool for securing a home loan. It functions similarly to a preapproval letter but it actually offers full approval from the lender in as little as 2 hours. By uploading all of your paperwork by 7 p.m. ET, for example, you can have full approval by the next morning. If you go through the verified approval process and your loan does not close because of Rocket Mortgage's review of your finances, it will pay you $1,000.

Here's everything you need to know about Rocket Mortgage and its mortgage offerings. 

What types of mortgages does Rocket Mortgage offer?

Rocket Mortgage offers most types of home loans and is one of the largest online mortgage lenders in the country. Its full list includes:

  • VA, or Veterans Affairs loans
  • FHA, or Federal Housing Administration loans
  • Conventional 
  • Jumbo
  • ARMs, or adjustable-rate mortgage loans
  • Refinance

Minimum credit score for Rocket Mortgage

The minimum credit score for conventional mortgages with Rocket is 620, and 680 for jumbo loans. You can get approved for an FHA or VA loan through Rocket Mortgage with a score as low as 580. 

Minimum down payment requirements for Rocket Mortgage 

The down payment requirements with Rocket Mortgage are the same standard requirements for all home loans. Here are the requirements by loan type:

  • VA loan: 0% minimum down payment required
  • FHA loan: 3.5% minimum down payment required
  • Conventional loan: 3% minimum down payment required
  • Jumbo loan: 10% minimum down payment required

What are Rocket Mortgage's terms, fees and conditions?

Rocket Mortgage charges most of the typical fees that all lenders do, but there is no fee to lock in an interest rate for 45 days. Locking in your rate can be helpful, particularly since interest rates are rising and are expected to keep going up throughout 2022. Even one-tenth of a percentage point can add tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. 

However, if you want to extend your rate for an additional 15 days (which you can do twice) it will cost you 25 basis points, which means your mortgage rate will go up by 0.25%. While some lenders offer a free float down, which lets you lower your locked interest rate if rates go down, Rocket Mortgage does not offer this as a standard feature. Instead, Rocket Mortgage offers Rate Shield, a product that allows you to lock in an interest rate for 90 days before you find a home, which does include one free float down -- but it will cost you 1 basis point. 

This online mortgage giant also charges a deposit of $500 for home appraisals, which is used to pay for the appraisal when you're closing on your new home at the end of the transaction.

Outside of specific lender fees, there are other standard costs and fees associated with buying a home. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Home appraisal 
  • Title insurance
  • Lawyer fees
  • Taxes
  • Homeowner's insurance

What discounts does Rocket Mortgage offer?

Just as most lenders do, Rocket Mortgages offers you the ability to buy down your interest rate by purchasing mortgage points up front. If you can afford to pay cash for points, your interest rate for your entire loan will go down, saving you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your mortgage. 

Can you refinance with Rocket Mortgage?

Yes, Rocket Mortgage offers refinance home loans. You can complete a cash-out refinance or a standard term rate finance. 

Where does Rocket Mortgage operate?

Rocket Mortgage operates online in all 50 states in the US. Although the company itself does not employ any mortgage brokers, it works with thousands of independent mortgage brokers across the country, many with physical branches you can go to for an in-person experience.

FAQs

How long does it take to apply online with Rocket Mortgage?

Rocket Mortgage has a verified approval process called Overnight Underwrite, which can approve you for a mortgage in as little as 2 hours. 

Does Rocket Mortgage advertise interest rates online?

Rocket Mortgage does advertise daily interest rates online, but your individual interest rate is always specific to your personal financial situation. Your credit score is a huge factor in determining your interest rate, so make sure to prioritize paying off any high-interest debt like credit card debt before you start house hunting. 

There is no hard credit pull when you are looking for general rates from Rocket Mortgage or getting prequalified, but to be preapproved or verified does require a hard pull on your credit.

How many days does it take to close on a home with Rocket Mortgage?

It can take as little as eight days to close on a new house with Rocket Mortgage, which is a pretty fast closing process. On average, the closing process takes about 26 days, but this depends on the market where you're buying your new house. In especially hot markets, you should expect closing on your house to take longer than a month, regardless of the mortgage lender you work with.

Methodology

CNET reviews mortgage lenders by comparing a variety of criteria including: loan types offered, credit score requirements, down payment requirements, features, terms and fees, discounts offered, accessibility and refinance options.

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