For the past several years, Quicken Loans has held the title as America’s top non-bank mortgage lender. On a few occasions, the company surpassed mortgage titan Wells Fargo as the top lender overall. Additionally, the company is the largest online mortgage lender in the U.S.
Like most banks and mortgage lenders, Quicken Loans offers a variety of home loan options, including purchase loans, jumbo loans, rate/term refinances, and cash-out refinances. The company also provides mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, VA, and USDA. However, the company doesn’t offer home equity loans or lines-of-credit.
So, if you want access to the equity you’ve built in your home by paying your mortgage, is Quicken Loans not an option? Here is how you can get access to your equity using the company.
Home Equity Options
Although Quicken Loans doesn’t offer home equity loans, it does offer cash-out refinances. So, what’s the difference? Unlike a home equity loan, a cash-out refinance is not a second loan.
When you choose a cash-out refinance, you pay off your original mortgage with a new loan that has a new interest rate and terms. The new mortgage will include additional money from your home’s equity, which your lender will give you in a lump sum payment when the loan closes.
Rates and Requirements
The interest rate you’ll pay and the requirements you must meet for a cash-out refinance from Quicken Loans depend on many factors. The most important is your ability-to-repay your new loan.
Your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and your income will all play a part. It also depends on whether a government agency backs your original mortgage. For example, if the FHA backs your first mortgage, you can refinance your loan with a credit score as low as 580.
Keep in mind that consumers with the highest credit scores receive the lowest rates and the best terms. So, should you bother refinancing since you’ll pay a higher interest rate with a low score? If you want to access your equity, you’ll have to. Don’t panic; you have options to lower your rate.
How to Lower Your Rate
Discount points. You can buy down your interest rate by paying discount points. For example, you can pay one point to reduce your interest rate by 0.25%. One point equals 1% of your loan amount. If your cash-out refinance loan amount is $100,000, you’ll pay $1,000.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgages. Known as ARM’s, the interest rate on these mortgages adjusts after a certain number of years. So, how does this benefit you? The initial fixed-rate period on an ARM (three, five, seven, or 10 years) is much lower than traditional 30-year, fixed-rate loans. In some cases, you’ll pay a full percentage point less during the initial term than a fixed-rate mortgage.
After your initial fixed-rate period expires, your rate will adjust up or down based on the interest rate environment at that time. Also, Quicken Loans places limits on how high your interest rate may rise during adjustment periods. In addition, the company will never raise your rate by more than 5% of the original rate during the life of the loan.
If you want to avoid paying additional costs to access the equity in your home, Quicken Loans allows you to roll those costs into your new loan amount. However, doing so could lead to higher interest payments and longer loan terms. It pays huge dividends to consult with an expert real estate agent, especially if you want to use the equity to buy another property.
If you want to use some of your home’s equity to buy another house or an investment property, Quicken Loans may not be the best option. If you’re looking to lower your interest rate and access some of your equity to pay off debt or complete some repairs, a cash-out refinance through the company is the best choice.