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HARP Refinance with Quicken Loans: My Experience

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Not too long ago, I was on the Credit Sesame site. A little pop-up window appeared, asking me if I wanted to refinance my loan.

I’ve been wanting to refinance my home for a couple of years now. I’d asked my bank about it, but they were unwilling to go below 4% with my self-employed income. I knew that I qualified for HARP under the expanded eligibility guidelines, but my bank didn’t seem to be interested in this loan.

I put it on the back burner until I received that pop-up message from Credit Sesame. On a whim, I went ahead and clicked “yes.” Within three minutes — I kid you not — a representative from Quicken Loans was calling. I let the call go to voicemail because I was, to tell the truth, a little unnerved by how fast the lead went out.

After a week of once-daily messages from Quicken, I decided to go for it. I called and explained my situation.The loan officer told me that I qualified for HARP, and that we could start on the paperwork immediately. He assured me that my income situation wouldn’t be a problem, since I have several years of tax returns to show my income is fairly steady. It also helped that we had yet to miss a mortgage payment in five years — and we have good credit.

This was February 6.

Quicken Loans is Fast and Convenient

My Quicken Loans team kept things moving along for me. It was easy to upload information about my assets (bank statements, scanned copies of my 1040, etc.), and I had my own dedicated message center that allowed me to view important documents, see messages, and track the progress of my loan. I was even able to look at my loan summary whenever I wanted a refresher.

quicken inbox

There was a brief moment of panic partway through the process, though. One of the updated Good Faith Estimates I received put the amount I needed at closing at more than $5,000 — up from less than $4,000. I compared the two Good Faith Estimates and about scuttled the deal. Come up with $5,000 in the middle of paying my state taxes?

Compare top

I emailed my loan officer with my concerns, and he called me back quickly. He assured me that sometimes numbers move around partway through the loan, but that the final numbers would be closer to what I saw in the first Good Faith Estimate (in fact, they were slightly lower). The Quicken team walked me through when I needed to cancel my autopay with my current loan provider, as well as providing me with helpful tips to make sure that everything went smoothly.

We closed our HARP refinance on March 22, a couple days more than six weeks after I initiated the process. Quicken sent a notary out to our home, so we didn’t even have to go somewhere else. We chose a date and time convenient for us, and everything was taken care of at the kitchen table. The notary sent everything off to Quicken, so we didn’t need to do anything else. After the packet arrived at Quicken, we received a phone call offering to let us set up automatic withdrawals. I set up a bi-weekly schedule.

Our new loan saves us about $300 a month. Even though we had to pay origination fees, they will be recovered in five and a half months. The refinance got rid of a small second mortgage on the home, taken at the time we bought, which will make it easier to sell if we end up moving in the next 18 to 24 months.

In the past, I’ve been reluctant to get large loans with online places. However, my experience with Quicken Loans was a good one, and I am happy with the results. I have my payoff notice from my former lender, and the loan closed fairly quickly. Aside from my moment of doubt in the middle, the whole situation was as pleasant as a refinance can be.

What do you think? Have you had an experience with refinancing?

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10 Responses to “HARP Refinance with Quicken Loans: My Experience”

  1. Tim Hawkins says:

    We’re going thru 5 refinances, the first 3 were “no doc” refis. The first one with Everbank went very quickly, like 4 weeks. Number 2 with BofA has been problematic since the girl who’s coordinating is making mistakes (I had to manually correct the Schedule of REO fixing 15 issues), so that one isn’t even close yet (6 weeks). Number 3 is with Nationstar, and they’ve already estimated it will take 120+ days, so I’ll have to contact them to push it along. Number 4 is a “full doc” loan with Citi, which seems to be moving along at 3 weeks. Number 5 isn’t started yet, but I’m afraid because it’s with BofA. Mixed bag. Some easy and quick, and some dog slow. We have 4 others that we’re likely to leave alone, but still have to run the numbers to see if we can drive them down to 10′s…

  2. admiral58 says:

    Congrats, it looks like HARP def can help

  3. I would have been unnerved as well if I got a call back so quickly.

  4. Laura says:

    Just an FYI, contacted Quicken and we don’t qualify for HARP because our mortgage loan is not backed by Freddie Mac or Fanny Mae- we are with a credit union. They may have other alternatives for us, just not HARP.

  5. Steve Mac Coy says:

    I have done several original mortgages and refinances and keep an eye on mortgage rates usually through bankrate.com. I have no personal experience with Quicken but I know through observation that their rates and fees tend to be higher than what is available through other brokers. Looking on bankrate.com for a fixed rate 15 year refi, Quicken came in 28′th out of 29 in highest APR(3.799%) which was based on a 3.625% rate and $1,775 in fees. The lowest broker offered a 2.417% APR based on a 2.375% rate with $450 in fees. No wonder they called you so quickly!

  6. Jason K says:

    I tried to use Quicken but the 6-12 weeks was too long for me, and the phone calls never stopped coming in. I think they may have sold my information. I went instead with a local office for Sierra Pacific Mortgage. They have over 100 branches nationwide. They took the application over the phone, sent me my paperwork that same day. I returned it later that afternoon, and received my approval in about 1 hour. They are a direct lender with Fannie Mae and HARP is a Fannie Mae product, so it couldn’t have been easier. We funded and recorded the loan 8 business days after my agent took my application. I was so impressed with the service and the timeline! The rate was lower than my bank offered me (under 4%)and my home was an investment home under HARP. My fees were low, and cash to close was ZERO. I didn’t have to pay for an appraisal as the program didn’t require one, and my new loan amount was less than the banks wanted to offer me. At first, I was skeptical when my friend referred me to them. It just seemed to good to be true. But since I have closed, I have sent many of my family members and friends to them, and all of them have had the same experience. Only one of my friends didn’t qualify, but he said he had bad credit. Other than that, it was an amazing experience for everyone. I found my local agent by calling their toll free number 855-796-5626. Good Luck. I hope this helps others as it helped me!

  7. Vicki Guilfoil says:

    HARP is a godsend. Beginning in October, I had gone through 4 months of angst with USAA, only to find out THE DAY OF CLOSING that my refi was being denied!! Why? Because I have rural property (the house sits on 20 acres) and they don’t loan on rural properties! It took them four months to notice??!!!!

    The only way to have gotten that refi with USAA would have been if I had my property resurveyed to chop it up into a 5 acre parcel (house and barns) and a 15 acre parcel(plus my other 20). It’s a farm, not a city property! No thank you!

    I’m still pretty peeved at USAA and can not recommend their mortgage division, although their credit card and auto/home insurance divisions are excellent.

    I checked with Farm Credit and their interest rate was too high for my tastes, so out of curiousity I called Bank of America, which holds the current loan on my house (it was originally done by Countrywide, who sold the note). I went through the sad story of my USAA refi experience, and the woman I spoke with pretty much verified that despite my sterling credit rating, the mortgage fiasco had ruined it for folks like myself: banks won’t loan on homes with acreages. I was disgusted when we hung up the phone. But, then the nice lady called me back to let me know she had discovered that I had a Freddie Mac note and qualified for HARP!! And it didn’t matter if I lived on a farm in the middle of Oklahoma. Imagine my surprize when I found out I didn’t need a new appraisal, or a new title survey, and that it was only going to take a MONTH to close!!! WOW!

    I thought about it for two days and called her back. Bank of America had come through for me, and has earned my business… HARP saved the day!

  8. its a pity thought that they take down your borrowing capacity the more kids you have under 18. atleast thats how its looked at over here ..dont know in your place

    cheers
    jeff

  9. william flowers says:

    do not know if you can help me or not I just had to file for chapter 7,and the bank I have is trying to make me pay extra for the second mortgage we took out to improve our home about 19,000 on the second mortgage with a balloon payment of 65,000 in the 2023 can I still get get this refinance program my home’s is worth about 102,000.,can I get your help I’m tired of dealing with north valley bank I’ve never missed a payment I have a new job but my credit is shot


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