Why It Made the Cut: Rocket Mortgage offers a wide coverage area, multiple touchpoints for the application process, and a wide range of loan types—ideal for the first-time home buyer.
Rocket Mortgage is well known in the lending industry and is large enough to offer a wide array of loan products and terms designed to fit almost any buyer’s circumstances. The company lends to customers nationwide while offering a convenient application process either online, by phone, or through the app, plus a 1.5 percent closing credit. Customers can further reduce their closing costs through the Rocket Rewards program—borrowers will earn points by completing simple tasks such as reading articles or watching videos on Rocket’s website and by playing around with the company’s mortgage calculators. At closing time, the borrower can redeem their points on their closing costs, which will reduce their total out-of-pocket costs when taking out a mortgage.
During the research process, borrowers can use Rocket Mortgage’s rate tool to get an idea of their mortgage costs; however, borrowers will want to note that the tool can be a little misleading, especially for first-time buyers who are unfamiliar with the mortgage process. Listed rates in this tool are based on a borrower with an excellent credit score (740 or higher) and who purchases two mortgage points, which would add thousands of dollars to their total borrowing costs. Therefore, the tool may not give first-time buyers a clear picture of what they can expect their mortgage to cost. But once the borrower completes their application, Rocket Mortgage offers a 90-day rate-lock option, known as RateShield. If interest rates go up during this time, the borrower will still be locked into their original lower rate. However, if rates decrease, the borrower can choose to replace their locked-in rate with the reduced rate one time during the 90-day period. This can give borrowers extra peace of mind that they’re getting the best rate for their home loan.
- Coverage area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- Loan types: Fixed rate, ARM, FHA, jumbo, VA loans, FHA 203k
- Loan terms: 15, 20, or 30 years on fixed-rate loans; 7 or 10 years on ARM loans
- Prequalification process: Online, phone
- Application process: Online, phone, app
- 90-day rate-lock option
- 1.5 percent closing cost credit
- Rewards program points redeemable toward closing costs
- Convenient mortgage application and management via mobile app
- Somewhat misleading mortgage rate tool