My Refinance Experience with Quicken Loans [7 Simple Steps]

mortgage refinance

When we refinanced our mortgage, we used Quicken Loans. Doing so lowered our payment by $186 a month, and saved us $22,000 in interest payments across the life of the loan.

I’m certainly pleased with the financial outcome of the refinance, and I certainly encourage you to check mortgage rates to see if you can find savings on your mortgage. But I’m also pleased with the process of doing the refinance with Quicken Loans.

This was my only refinance. So I don’t have much to compare it to. But I can tell you about my particular experience and let you decide if working with Quicken Loans on your purchase or refinance is right for you. I’ll save you the info on Quicken Loans themselves. You already know them as one of the biggest names in home mortgages, with “highest in customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination” according to J.D. Power and Associates.

What I will focus on is how they did business with me. Quicken Loans breaks down the mortgage loan process into 7 simple steps. Here’s how each of my steps went:

1. Connection

I used my own mortgage rate table and found a reasonable rate from Quicken Loans. I’ll be honest, I was lured in by the fact that I’m familiar with the Quicken name brand. After clicking “learn more” I was taken to the Quicken Loans site and filled out the contact form. Someone from Quicken Loans reached out to me and I gave permission for my credit to be pulled.

2. Credit Discussion

I received an email from Quicken Loans that my credit had been pulled and they were ready to discuss mortgage options. I called them up and spoke with my Mortgage Banker, Eric Pacifi. I gave Eric more information about my income, employment situation, loan type, and more.

3. Good Faith Estimate and Deposit

Before that conversation ended, I was told that everything looked good and I could now log into my Quicken Loans online account to see my good faith estimate, which included my interest rate and term (30 years, in my case). If I was cool with that then we could then go forward with the actual application, once a deposit of $500 was paid.

Quicken Loans has a non-refundable deposit that you are required to pay. Paying this allows Quicken Loans to lock your rate, set up an appraisal, process your application, and generally get serious about doing business with you. If your application gets denied you are refunded the deposit less any fees they have incurred.

There is a bit of controversy surrounding this deposit. Many people have come online to complain about losing money due to this deposit. I can’t speak for them, but I can say that Quicken Loans wouldn’t be in business very long if their sole interest were to rob unqualified people of $500. 

I felt comfortable moving forward and I paid for the deposit using my Chase Freedom card. Deposits can be from $400 to $700 according to the Quicken Loans website. A more diligent, prudent person might have taken the loan details and then shopped some other lenders. But I was taken in by the fact that Quicken Loans didn’t seem deterred by my self-employment income. They gave me the green light, so it was time to move forward I thought.

4. Appraisal

This was handled quickly and without much fuss. No one came to my house to do an appraisal. I assume they were able to do this online using comps from the area. We purchased this place with 20% initially, so I knew there would not be an issue on the refinance because the loan balance was well under the value of the property.

5. Verify Income and Assets

This is by far the most tedious part of the process. I sent Quicken Loans several documents to verify my income and assets: personal and business tax returns the past two years, bank statements, retirement account statements, proof of insurance, and my last pay stub from my business.

Throughout this phase, my Quicken Loans mortgage banker, Eric, did a good job of updating me on the latest mortgage rates (I was floating for at least two weeks) and telling me the progress with the underwriters. He also helped to explain the rates, different term options, and helped to work out a situation to get around the debt-to-income problem I had.

This whole process took a long time because halfway through the discussions, I was told I needed to get rid of some debt so that my debt-to-income ratio would be enough for the underwriters to accept. We decided to pay off our one remaining car loan. It was with a local credit union at 3%, so we were slowly paying it off. But if I meant we could refinance our place, then it had to go.

I sent the credit union a check from my Capital One 360 checking account and it took almost two weeks for them to get it and process it. I then got a letter from the credit union stating that the loan was paid off. Then, the underwriters needed to see where the money to pay off the loan came from. So I needed to re-send the bank statements and such so that they could get confidence that I had actually paid off the debt myself.

There were a couple of times where the communication between the mortgage banker and my Quicken Loans customer service representative could have been better. I was telling them both the same things a few times. Additionally, I wasn’t given a good answer as to why they chose to pay off $1,000 more for my old mortgage (held at Bank of America). I can now take the refund check from BOA and payoff my Quicken Loans’ mortgage with it, but it seemed odd that they just didn’t want to pay the exact amount.

6. Process and Underwriting

This was all happening behind the scenes as I was providing information to Quicken Loans.

7. Closing

We were actually out of town when Quicken Loans called to schedule the closing. They said they could do it anywhere and it would take less than an hour, so I suggested we take care of it while at the hotel we were staying at. Someone from Quicken Loans set up the time and an independent closing agent showed up at our hotel to close the loan. She was efficient, knowledgeable, and professional. We signed about 100 pieces of paper and we were on our way.

This was the most enjoyable part of the whole process, considering my expectations of loan closings.

  • Pros: No physical meetings or faxing required. Competitive rate. Honest answers. Online account management. Quick closing.
  • Cons: Occasional communication breakdown. Uncertainty regarding the deposit and loan payoff.

Rocket Mortgage

Since my experience, Quicken Loans began making it even easier to refinance your home. They now offer an online mortgage experience called Rocket Mortgage. With this online portal, you can quickly complete the entire process, from application to closing online.

Quicken Loans knows the home buying process can be competitive. To give you additional resources to be ready to buy quickly, they offer the Power Buying Process. The process has three levels of approval:

  • Prequalified Approval: Quicken Loans reviews your FICO Score and debt for basic credit qualification.
  • Verified Approval: This takes the prequalification further by checking your income and assets, which gives assurance you can afford your home offer.
  • RateShield Approval: Locks your interest rate for up to 90 days while you find the house you want.

If you are looking for a conventional loan, Quicken Loans also offers what they coined, YOURgage. This mortgage option allows you to customize a repayment term for your loan that works best for your time frame. With YOURgage, you can choose any mortgage term between 8 and 29 years.

To begin the refinance process with Quicken Loans, you will need to start by setting up an account first.

Next, you’ll need to verify your email and address before logging into your account for the first time. Once in your account, the Rocket Mortgage platform will walk you through the process of applying by asking you questions about your current mortgage and financial situation.

You’ll also need to provide information about your current assets to determine if you qualify for a loan. You can do this by either manually entering your assets or by using their automatic search tool to find your financial institutions.

After imputing all of your information and responses, Quicken Loans will let you know if you have been approved to refinance your mortgage. If you are approved, Rocket Mortgage will give you all the information and tools you need to close.

Compare Mortgage Refinancing Rates

Quicken Loans is one of the top mortgage lenders for refinancing, but it never hurts to get quotes from other companies to ensure the best possible rate. Thanks to the power of the internet, it’s never been easier to find the most savings.

Comparing mortgage rates and terms of various lenders could not only save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, but it could reduce your monthly payment or help pay off your mortgage sooner.

When you are putting quotes side by side, you want to compare interest rates, closing costs, products (i.e., conventional, FHA, VA) and don’t forget customer service to pick the best refinance loan.

Check out Credible

Comparing Quicken Loans with other mortgage lenders can be done quickly and easily with Credible. Whether your goal is to reduce your payment or the term of your loan, they compare prequalified rates in three minutes. Credible allows you to complete the whole process from comparing interest rates to closing your refinance all in one spot.

Other things to note are that Credible takes the stress out of refinancing but automating all the paperwork. They allow you to upload documents and keep you up-to-date where you are in the refinance process. Also, the mortgage team does not work on commission, which is peace of mind that they are giving advice that is best for you.

Find a current refinance rate with Credible here.

My Refinance Experience with Quicken Loans [7 Simple Steps]

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About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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  1. Hello, Phillip …. my 1st experience with a QL refi (2009) went smoothly & quickly … completed start to finish in less than 45 days …. 3 years later, & another house – the process drug out for over 6 months & never closed ….. quite disappointing! Mimicked some of the sagas reported on the Rip-off Report!

  2. This must have benn posted a while ago, now they have three steps and it’s hard to tell what they are doing now…

  3. Thanks for taking the time to do the review. I am considering a loan with Quicken Loans and the online reviews are all over the place. I am at step #3 in your process and so far I have been very happy. We shall see.

  4. I would never had thought that it would have been a smooth as it was. Congrats. Question : The $186 less a month, will you continue to pay your original payment or pay the lower payment?

    • Philip Taylor says

      I’ve been paying the lower payment, but we plan on using extra cash to start paying down our mortgage this year. Probably in big chunk payments vs increasing to the old payment amount.