My Refinance Experience with Quicken Loans [7 Simple Steps]

Quicken Loans ReviewsBrowsing for Quicken Loans reviews? Here’s mine.

We recently refinanced our mortgage. Doing so allowed us to lower our payment by $186 a month, and save $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 which are even better now to see if you can see similar savings on your mortgage. But I’m also pleased with the process of doing the refinance with Quicken Loans.

This is my first 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:

Quicken Loans Reviews - 7 Simple Steps

1. Connection (May 25, 2011) – 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 (May 25, 2011) – 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 (May 25, 2011) – 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. The rate I was quoted was 4.875% on a 30 year refinance. 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 GFE 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 or lack thereof. They gave me the green light, so it was time to move forward I thought.

4. Appraisal (May 26, 2011) – This was handled quickly and without much fuss. No one came to my house to do an appraisal. I assume the 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 is still well under the value of the property…one of the benefits of living in Texas.

5. Verify Income and Assets (May 26 – July 1, 2011) – 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 from 2009 and 2010, 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 half of June) 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 half way 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 – (May 26 – July 13, 2011) – This was all happening behind the scenes as I was providing information to Quicken Loans.

7. Closing (July 13, 2011) – 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.

Overall I’m happy with my Quicken Loans experience. They truly are engineered to create a positive refinance or new mortgage experience. I would certainly entertain using them again for my next loan, and I would recommend them to you guys if you think a refinance or purchase is in your future.

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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 this website 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. He uses Personal Capital to track his wealth. All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  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.