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Quicken Loans Review

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 7 comments.


For the time being, S&P’s downgrade on United States debt has yet to produce an increase in mortgage interest rates as some predicted. Borrowers can still find mortgage loans for such a low cost that if they qualify, low interest rates combined with lower house prices would make owning a house more affordable than ever.

Even with low rates available from many lenders throughout the industry, it pays to shop around for a mortgage whether you’re buying a new house or refinancing a current loan rather than choosing the first option presented to you. The difference of a few tenths of a percentage point could result in either savings or an expense of several thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. While mortgage brokers may shop around for you and claim they are presenting you with the best options, it is always beneficial to do your own research.

Quicken Loans reviewQuicken Loans advertises some of the lowest rates available today. When I first heard of Quicken Loans, it was through my desktop Quicken software. I immediately thought that the lender was a branch of Intuit, the makers of the software. I didn’t see a reason the software company would have a business lending money.

They don’t, though. Intuit actually licenses the name “Quicken Loans” and the associated logos to Rock Holdings, the parent company of Quicken Loans. There’s no relationship between Quicken software and Quicken Loans other than this license and the ability for Quicken Loans to align itself in consumers’ minds with the incredibly popular and favorably-viewed financial management brand.

Looking past the brand name, Quicken Loans offers some interesting features. They offer more choices than the typical 30-year fixed rate, 15-year fixed rate, and adjustable rate mortgages, allowing borrowers to customize their loan to an extent that’s not available with most other lenders. If you need to borrow less than $417,000 for the purchase of a home or a refinance of up to 95% of your home’s value, you can take advantage of this flexibility.

You can choose a loan term anywhere from 8 to 30 years and qualify with as little as 5% down. I recommend putting at least 20% down on a mortgage, but some borrowers will still qualify with a smaller down payment. Quicken Loans offers a product called PMI Buster, optional for borrowers who have a down payment less than 20%. This helps the customer avoid paying mortgage insurance (Quicken Loans pays it for the customer) in exchange for a higher interest rate. Run the numbers to see if this is worthwhile; it may not be for everyone, but the home mortgage interest deduction helps make this product a choice to consider.

After 7 years of paying back a 30-year mortgage with Quicken Loans, you can refinance for a 23 year term. This would let you take advantage of potentially lower rates while not extending your initial repayment period. Will rates be lower in 7 years? It’s hard to imagine that they would be because rates are so low now, but it’s still a possibility.

The flexibility in choosing your term means that you can tailor the loan to your cash flow or if you plan to send your first child to college in 18 years, you can design the loan to end right before the first tuition bill is due.

In July and August 2010, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a consumer study and found that found that Quicken Loans is the highest-ranked lender for customer satisfaction, with a score of 826 out of 1,000. The next closest competitor scored 734.

If you’re shopping for a new mortgage or a refinance, include Quicken Loans in your comparisons. If you qualify for the low rates they advertise, you will benefit from increased cash flow for what will probably be a good chunk of the remainder of your life. Most mortgages last thirty years, and that’s a significant time commitment. Make the best decision you can by researching as much as possible.

Updated November 12, 2011 and originally published August 16, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

I applied for a refinance loan through Quicken Loans about three years ago, to refinance my mortgage, and their service was outstanding. However, they don’t (or can’t) do first mortgages if there’s an existing home equity loan and you live in the state of Texas… :P Just something to consider, but otherwise they’re a good group to work with.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦906 (Dime)

Quicken Loans (based in good old metro detroit) is owned by Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lefraud James’s best buddy.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

Interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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avatar dc

I have almost the same experience as you and we are about to walked out….

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avatar Steve Dupree

Do you need to jump through hoops to (per your example) get an 18 year loan? Any reason not to, say, get a vanilla 30 year loan but send payments as if it were 30? Does the interest rate go down with the term? (So an 18 year loan would be something like 1/5th of the way between a 15 and a 30 year loan.)

I ask because I would love a ~17 year loan, just like in your example (but my kid is 1 year old), but when I looked into it a 20 year loan had a HIGHER interest rate than a 30, because only a couple companies offered it (on the particular mortgage shopping site I was looking at.) Of course I don’t even have a house yet – at the rate we’re going it might take 3 years, and I can just get a vanilla 15 year loan and not worry about it :P

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avatar Steve Dupree

I contacted them to ask directly. Seems the interest rates are tiered. 26-30, 21-25, etc. Basically the interest rate is the same as if you rounded up to the next multiple of 5 years. Obviously the payment will be slightly different due to the different amortization.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

Steve,

Thanks for taking the initiative in contacting them and for reporting back! It’s an interesting approach.

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