Buying a new home or refinancing the home you already own could be a smart financial decision when interest rates are low. However, you might be hesitant because the mortgage process can be time-consuming and overwhelming.
Mortgage companies such as Better.com and Rocket Mortgage use technology to make the process simpler and less cumbersome to encourage people to take advantage of low interest rates. In this Better.com vs. Rocket Mortgage comparison, we'll compare the two companies and help you decide whether one of these lenders is right for you.
Better.com vs. Rocket Mortgage
Let’s take a quick look at how these online mortgage lenders stack up.
|Types of loans offered||
|Minimum credit score||620||May accept 580, but typically requires 620|
|States available||47 states and Washington, D.C.||All 50 states and Washington, D.C.|
How does Better.com work?
Better.com was founded in 2014. It’s a direct lender that offers an online loan application for customers looking to buy a new home or refinance their current one. One way it sets itself apart is by not paying its agents commission.
Many loan officers are paid a commission of about 1% of the loan amount, which may incentivize them to push borrowers into a larger mortgage. Since Better doesn’t pay commissions, its loan officers aren’t paid more based on the size of your mortgage. Better also doesn’t charge any lender fees such as origination or application fees, and it has 24/7 customer service.
Better also offers other services, including Better Real Estate, title insurance, and homeowners insurance. If you buy your home through Better Real Estate, you may get $2,000 off your closing costs with Better Mortgage.
The company offers a variety of loan types for buying or refinancing a home, including both adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages for your primary residence, second home, or investment properties. It offers FHA, jumbo, and conventional mortgages. You can get a 15-, 20-, or 30-year loan term based on which loan is best suited for your financial goals. You can refinance your mortgage with Better.com for a better interest rate or loan term, and you can also do a cash-out refinance.
You can view example rates on the Better.com website, but you’ll need to provide personal information to get a loan quote tailored to your situation. Once you provide your information, Better.com offers a basic preapproval letter, which it claims can be obtained in three minutes. You can include the preapproval letter with any purchase offers on a home. It also offers a verified preapproval letter, which means Better.com has reviewed your financial documents and completed a hard credit pull. This may carry more weight with sellers than the basic preapproval letter.
For more details, read our Better.com review.
How does Rocket Mortgage work?
Rocket Mortgage, formerly known as Quicken Loans, has 35 years of experience in the mortgage industry. According to Rocket Mortgage, it is America's largest mortgage lender. It’s also been ranked number one in mortgage service customer satisfaction for the last eight years by J.D. Power.
The Rocket Mortgage sales team is available seven days per week, and the mortgage service team, which takes care of customers who already have loans with Rocket Mortgage, is available six days per week.
Like Better.com, the Rocket Mortgage application process is primarily online. You provide your personal information and details about your property, and its recommendation engine offers suggested mortgage products. When you're ready to apply, you may be able to share your income and asset information directly from your bank to avoid having to upload individual documents and statements.
Rocket Mortgage charges origination fees on its home loans. Although Rocket Mortgage doesn't publicly disclose how much their origination fees are, they are most likely in the range of 0.5% to 1% of the total loan amount. Like Better.com, it has a real estate arm to assist you in finding or selling a home. It also offers personal loans and has an auto marketplace where you can buy and sell vehicles.
Rocket Mortgage offers several mortgage options, including FHA, VA, jumbo, and conventional loans for buying or refinancing a home. It offers 8- to 30-year terms, and its loan products have fixed and adjustable interest rates. Rocket Mortgage offers prequalified approval, which is a completely online process, and verified approval. The verified approval process is more involved and requires you to apply online and contact a home loan expert by chat or phone. Additionally, Rocket Mortgage then verifies your income, assets, and credit via a thorough review of your financial documents.
For more information, read our Rocket Mortgage review.
What both Better.com and Rocket Mortgage excel at
For customers who want to buy a home or refinance their mortgage, both options offer a primarily online loan process. Here are more details on the features that both companies offer homebuyers and homeowners.
Both companies offer an online dashboard that personalizes the mortgage experience based on your mortgage needs. Once you've entered your personal information and the details of your proposed mortgage, you can shop rates, terms, and different fee structures until you find one that works for you. You can typically track your mortgage loan through the underwriting process so you can stay on top of any needed steps to complete the approval process.
Variety of mortgage products
Depending on your needs, there are a variety of loan options to choose from with Better.com and Rocket Mortgage.
Both companies offer conforming conventional mortgages, jumbo loans, and certain government-backed loans. Better offers FHA loans, while Rocket Mortgage offers FHA and VA loans. Neither lender offers USDA loans. Additionally, you can choose terms from 8 to 30 years and choose between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages.
Neither company offers home equity loans or lines of credit (HELOCs).
Better.com has customer service agents standing by 24 hours per day, seven days per week. If you have a question, you can get an answer at any time of the day or night, even on weekends.
While Rocket Mortgage doesn't have the same hours as Better.com, you can speak with a loan officer seven days per week. Additionally, both lenders offer the ability to speak with someone over the phone or via online chat. This gives you the option to communicate in whichever format works best for you.
4 important differences between Better.com and Rocket Mortgage
Better.com and Rocket Mortgage do have many similarities, yet there are some important differences that you should know before picking your lender.
Rocket Mortgage can handle mortgages for customers in every state in the U.S. and Washington, D.C. However, Better.com is only available in 47 states and Washington, D.C. While it is working to expand into more states, Better.com cannot yet handle mortgages in Hawaii, Nevada, or New Hampshire.
Better.com makes it known that they do not charge commissions for their loans. Rocket Mortgage does not make such promises, so that should be something to look for (and negotiate) when reviewing your mortgage quote.
3. Origination fees
Origination fees are expenses that mortgage lenders add on to the cost of a mortgage to cover their expenses and increase profits. Better.com does not charge origination fees for its mortgages. Rocket Mortgage does charge origination fees. Since these fees typically range from 0.5% to 1.0%, you can and should negotiate them before committing to the lender.
4. 24-hour customer service availability
You can speak with a live customer service representative at Better.com over the phone or online at any time, day or night. Better.com customer service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
J.D. Power recognized Rocket Mortgage for having the highest mortgage service customer satisfaction ratings over the last eight years (2014-2021), but Rocket Mortgage does not offer 24/7 customer support. You can speak with a loan officer to originate a new loan seven days per week, with weekday hours extending until midnight Eastern Time. Yet, once your loan is completed, customer service is not available on Sundays.
Which lender should you choose?
Choosing a mortgage lender is always a personal decision. While some companies may have lower mortgage rates or fees, you may not feel comfortable dealing with them. For example, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may prefer working with an in-person loan officer who can walk you through the mortgage process.
You should also consider the type of mortgage you need. If you know you want to use a VA loan for your home purchase, for example, you’ll want to avoid Better.com as it doesn’t offer that type of loan.
Better.com may be best for consumers who wish to avoid extra fees and prefer an all-online experience. They do not charge commissions or origination fees, which may lower your overall out-of-pocket costs. However, the company is relatively young and is experiencing growing pains as evidenced by the December 2021 news coverage of its CEO firing 900 workers over a Zoom call.
Rocket Mortgage is a good choice for someone that prefers a blend of technology with the traditional mortgage experience. The company has been in the mortgage industry for 35 years and has closed over five million loans. Customers have rewarded Rocket Mortgage with positive reviews, leading it to be named the highest in mortgage service customer satisfaction for the last eight years (2014 to 2021) by J.D. Power.
Is Better.com or Rocket Mortgage more popular?
According to J.D. Power rankings, Rocket Mortgage is the more popular mortgage company. It was chosen highest in mortgage service customer satisfaction in the U.S. for eight consecutive years, from 2014 through 2021.
What is the difference between Better.com and Rocket Mortgage?
The major difference between the two companies is their experience in the mortgage industry. Better.com is a relative newcomer, founded in 2014, and offers a 100% online process with no commissions or origination fees. Rocket Mortgage is formerly known as Quicken Loans and has 35 years of mortgage experience.
Who is the CEO of Better.com?
The CEO of Better.com is Vishal Garg.
While the traditional mortgage process is overwhelming and time-consuming, working with Better.com or Rocket Mortgage is much simpler. Their online platforms make tracking your mortgage's progress easier, which may simplify things, especially if you’re new to the home lending process.
Of course, there are other lenders available. It’s best to consider multiple lenders so you can compare potential monthly payments, interest rates, loan programs, and other loan details. To learn about other lenders that might be a good fit, read our article on the best mortgage lenders.
Disclosure: The writer has refinanced with Better.com.
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