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HARP Refinance with Quicken Loans: My Experience

Not too long ago, I was on the Credit Sesame site [3]. A little pop-up window appeared, asking me if I wanted to refinance my loan.

I’ve been wanting to refinance my home [4] 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 [5] 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.

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?

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 [6].

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?