Quicken Loans vs. Rocket Mortgage: What You Need To Know
Borrowers comparing Quicken Loans vs. Rocket Mortgage may be surprised to find out that the two companies are one and the same—and the online mortgage process can be more personalized than they might imagine.
Shopping for a mortgage can be stressful, even if the borrower understands what a mortgage is and how one works. With so many lenders vying for their business, borrowers can easily feel overwhelmed by their choices. If a borrower is comparing Quicken Loans vs. Rocket Mortgage, they’ll be happy to know that both names refer to the same company—and that company offers a fully online mortgage process that makes getting a loan quick and easy.
Many customers wonder, “Is Rocket Mortgage good?” While the exact answer will depend on the borrower’s specific needs, Rocket Mortgage is known as one of the best mortgage lenders for first-time buyers and seasoned buyers alike. The company’s simple online mortgage process and overall positive customer reviews back up the company’s commitment to making the home- lending process a straightforward one.
1. Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage are the same company, but that wasn’t always the case.
While both Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans are recognizable names in the mortgage industry, many people don’t realize that they are actually one and the same. However, the history of the company can get a little confusing.
Rock Financial, a mortgage broker, was founded in 1985 by Dan Gilbert and became a mortgage lender in 1988. Gilbert’s goal was to simplify the mortgage process for customers—before the internet was widely used, this meant mailing mortgage documents to customers so they could sign them at home. But this “Mortgage in a Box” was just the first step toward a truly simplified mortgage process.
In 1998, Gilbert emailed his staff explaining that his eventual goal was to put the entire mortgage process online. Since the internet was still gaining traction with the general population, this goal likely seemed like a stretch at the time. But Rock Financial began working on achieving this goal, and RockLoans.com launched in 1999—this was the beginning of the company’s digital mortgage business, designed to offer a simple and easy process for customers. A year later, in December 1999, the company was purchased by Intuit and was rebranded as Quicken Loans. This acquisition was short-lived, though, as Gilbert and some private investors purchased Quicken Loans back from Intuit in 2003, retaining the branding and marketing of the company. Shortly thereafter, QuickenLoans.com was launched to help provide borrowers with online tools such as a payment calculator and online mortgage application. By 2010, Quicken Loans marked a major milestone by closing its 1 millionth loan.
2. Quicken Loans launched the Rocket Mortgage brand in 2015 to manage its digital mortgage business.
As Quicken Loans’ digital mortgage business continued to grow, the company decided it needed to put more of a focus on that aspect of the company, which led to the introduction of Rocket Mortgage.
Rocket Mortgage was created in 2015 as a subsidiary of Quicken Loans—one that would handle 100 percent of the company’s digital mortgage business. Using Rocket Mortgage, borrowers would be able to go through the entire mortgage process—from preapproval to closing—without stepping foot in a brick-and-mortar location or seeing a loan officer in person. And if they still wanted a more traditional experience, they could choose to get their mortgage through Quicken Loans instead.
3. Rocket Mortgage was the first lender to provide a completely digital and online mortgage experience from start to finish.
Today, many customers expect to be able to handle their mortgage and other finances completely online, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, Rocket Mortgage was a pioneer in the digital mortgage industry, paving the way for other loan companies to follow suit. Unlike the traditional mortgage process, Rocket Mortgage promised a 100 percent digital mortgage experience, with borrowers able to complete all parts of the mortgage process from the comfort of their own home. While many borrowers today almost expect the majority of the mortgage process to be digital, the technology to make it happen didn’t exist before Rocket Mortgage.
4. As the mortgage industry shifted toward digital-focused home loans, Rocket Mortgage’s online lending processes quickly gained traction with borrowers.
Unsurprisingly, borrowers were quick to pivot from a traditional brick-and-mortar mortgage process to Rocket Mortgage’s digital one. The convenience offered by the lender was unmatched back when the brand first launched, and it wasn’t long before Rocket Mortgage was making a real name for itself and challenging even the best banks for mortgage lending.
Dan Gilbert’s idea of putting the mortgage process online may have seemed revolutionary back in 1998, but Rocket Mortgage’s fast rise in the market proved that his idea was the way of the future. As Rocket Mortgage continued to gain popularity among borrowers, the company’s competitors tried to catch up by creating their own online processes—but Rocket Mortgage’s proprietary technology truly revolutionized the mortgage industry.
5. Rocket Mortgage’s success helped propel Quicken Loans to become the largest mortgage lender in the country.
Rocket Mortgage continued to be popular with borrowers, and as a result its parent company Quicken Loans saw exponential growth and quickly became the nation’s biggest mortgage lender for traditional and digital mortgage business combined. Although some customers preferred to use Quicken Loans for their mortgages, more and more were choosing Rocket Mortgage for its simple and efficient online mortgage process.
By the fourth quarter of 2017, Quicken Loans had become the largest mortgage lender in the country. And in October 2019, Rocket Mortgage became the first lender in the nation to be able to close home mortgage loans online in all 50 states. This meant that, no matter their location, borrowers could complete the mortgage process entirely virtually by using Rocket Mortgage.
6. Over time, the Rocket Mortgage name eclipsed Quicken Loans’ own brand among retail borrowers.
As the demand for online mortgage lenders continued to expand, so did Rocket Mortgage’s popularity—to the point where it was outperforming its parent company, Quicken Loans. Dan Gilbert’s goal of making the mortgage process simple and straightforward for all borrowers was coming to fruition as the need for digital mortgage services grew. As the company saw the direction in which the industry was heading, it decided to put all its efforts into the online mortgage business, which meant changing its name to simply Rocket Mortgage.
7. Quicken Loans rebranded under the well-known Rocket Mortgage name in 2021.
In 2021, Quicken Loans made the decision to officially rebrand its business as Rocket Mortgage. The change officially took place on July 31, 2021. The decision to keep the “Rocket” name tied Rocket Mortgage together with its parent company, Rocket Companies, as well as sister companies Rocket Homes, Rocket Auto, and Rocket Loans.
Together, this group of companies provided options for borrowers to get a variety of loans, from home to auto to personal, entirely online.
8. Existing Quicken Loans customers still have mortgages and loans with the company, but their accounts have been absorbed into Rocket Mortgage.
While it’s no longer possible for customers to get a mortgage from Quicken Loans, customers who have existing mortgages through the company may still see that name on some of their mortgage documents. Customers also retained their login credentials when the name changed, so they can log in to view Rocket Mortgage payoff details if they’re interested in what it would take to pay off their loan early, as well as other key mortgage information. The company’s address remains the same, so customers can mail Quicken Loan or Rocket Mortgage payments to the same location, just using the new name (though if they do use the former name, the mail will still be delivered).
9. Although customers can still apply for a loan through the Quicken Loans site, their request will be managed by Rocket Mortgage.
While Quicken Loans officially became Rocket Mortgage in 2021, the QuickenLoans.com website still exists. Customers can access the website to view informational articles, calculate their monthly mortgage payments, see current Quicken Loans mortgage rates, compare loan options, and learn about refinancing. They can even apply online from the Quicken Loans site for a mortgage or refinance—but the information or quote they receive will come directly from Rocket Mortgage. Since Rocket Mortgage is considered one of the best mortgage refinance companies, customers can feel confident they’ll have a good experience, whether tapping into their home equity to finance a home improvement project or trying to lock in a lower interest rate.
10. Rocket Mortgage offers an entirely online lending experience, but some customers may find the lack of in-person support—along with certain financing options—limiting.
Some borrowers may love the thought of not needing to speak to a single person during the mortgage process. From preapproval to closing, some simply prefer the idea of keeping the entire process online. But others may find this process to be impersonal and prefer the in-person support of a traditional mortgage provider. Ultimately, each borrower has different requirements, and while Rocket Mortgage will be a perfect fit for many, it may not entirely fit the needs of others. Additionally, as Rocket Mortgage doesn’t offer construction loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), some borrowers may find its platform limited.
However, Rocket Mortgage isn’t the country’s top closer of home loans for nothing. Customer reviews are generally positive, with Rocket Mortgage scoring a rating of 4 out of 5 on Consumer Affairs. Reviewers praise the company for its top-notch customer service, its willingness to work with customers with fair credit scores, and its easy-to-use online borrowing platform. Borrowers who are concerned about an entirely online mortgage process being too impersonal may want to read some Rocket Mortgage reviews to see if they still want to consider getting a quote from Rocket Mortgage.
Deciding on a mortgage lender can be a confusing process, whether a borrower is trying to determine how to get a mortgage or if they already have a good idea of which lender they want to use. For those who are considering a loan with Rocket Mortgage, the answers to the following commonly asked questions may help them reach their decision.
Q. Is Rocket Mortgage a broker or a lender?
Rocket Mortgage is an online lender, offering several types of home loans including conventional, VA (Department of Veterans Affairs), FHA (Federal Housing Administration), jumbo, and home refinancing loans.
Q. What bank is behind Rocket Mortgage?
Loans from Rocket Mortgage are funded directly by the company rather than from a third-party financial institution.
Q. Does Rocket Mortgage have high fees?
Like most mortgage lenders, Rocket Mortgage includes certain fees in its loans. This includes closing costs that, according to Rocket Mortgage, typically fall between 3 percent and 6 percent of the home’s selling price. The exact fees will be determined once a borrower has an offer accepted on a home and their mortgage application moves forward.
Borrowers can also review current Rocket Mortgage interest rates, though the exact rates can vary depending on the borrower’s financial history. Additionally, the definition of a good mortgage rate may vary from borrower to borrower. While some may look for lenders with the lowest mortgage rates, they’ll want to take fees into consideration as well since those can also affect the total amount they’ll pay for the loan.
Q. Are Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans the same?
Yes. Rocket Mortgage was launched as a digital subsidiary of Quicken Loans in 2015. The online mortgage process was so successful that the company was officially renamed Rocket Mortgage in July 2021.
Q. How do home loans work?
There are several steps to the home loan process. First, a home buyer will want to apply with their chosen lender to get a preapproval letter—they can then include this letter with an offer on a home to let the seller know that they can fund the purchase. Once the sale goes through, the borrower will begin making payments on their loan for an agreed-upon term (typically 15 or 30 years on fixed-rate mortgages). The payments will include principal (the amount that goes directly toward paying down the loan), interest (the monthly charge by the lender in exchange for lending the money), taxes (the annual property tax amount split into 12 monthly payments), and insurance (the annual premium paid in 12 installments). Borrowers can pay extra toward the principal if they want to pay the mortgage off early.
Q. Will applying for a Rocket home loan hurt my credit score?
Like any loan application, applying for a loan from Rocket Mortgage can have a slight negative effect on a borrower’s credit score. This is because a mortgage application will result in a hard credit inquiry, which involves looking into the borrower’s credit report and overall credit score in order to get a full picture of their ability to repay a loan. However, the effect is minor and temporary—a borrower who continues to make on-time payments and displays other positive financial habits will see their score rebound fairly quickly. Additionally, Rocket Mortgage’s simple online application process makes it one of the best mortgage lenders in the industry.
Q. Can Quicken Loans be trusted?
Quicken Loans, or Rocket Mortgage, is a trustworthy mortgage lender. J.D. Power has named Rocket Mortgage its top mortgage servicer for multiple years—that means the company scored high in categories such as overall satisfaction, new customer orientation, billing and payment, escrow account administration, communication, and customer interaction.
Q. When did Quicken Loans change its name to Rocket Mortgage?
The official name change from Quicken Loans to Rocket Mortgage occurred on July 31, 2021.