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When buying or refinancing a home, finding the best mortgage lender to fulfill your needs can be a challenge, but well worth the time and effort you put into it.
Mortgage interest rates can vary by a half of a percentage point (0.50%) or more between two similar borrower profiles, according to research by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On a large loan like a mortgage, even a small difference in the interest rate can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
NextAdvisor developed a robust methodology to determine the best mortgage lenders in the country and to help borrowers know what to look for when shopping around.
NextAdvisor scoring criteria is based on factors such as transparency in pricing, online convenience, accessibility to most borrowers, range of products, and history of customer satisfaction.
We put two popular mortgage lenders, Rocket Mortgage and AimLoan, side by side so you can see how they compare.
Rocket Mortgage and AimLoan are non-bank lenders that conduct most of their business online in all 50 states. But they differ in a few areas, such as loan types they offer, online price transparency, and customer satisfaction.
Here’s more on how the two companies stack up against each other.
As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.
Mortgage Lender Comparison: Overview of Rocket Mortgage vs. AimLoan
Rocket mortgage, the online mortgage lender for Quicken Loans, is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S. The Detroit-based company is named one of NextAdvisor’s 10 best mortgage lenders because of the company’s large nationwide footprint, simple online application process, small number of consumer complaints, rate and fee transparency, and the company’s wide offering of mortgage loan products. Rocket Mortgage does not, however, offer ARM loans.
AimLoan is a solid option depending on what type of loan you are seeking. The company offers fast closings, accessible rate and fee information, and guarantees certain closing costs at the time of application. However, AimLoan doesn’t offer certain government-backed loans such as FHA loans.
One major distinction between the two lenders is customer satisfaction history. Using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaint database, we found Rocket Mortgage to have one of the lowest complaint ratios among the lenders we’ve reviewed. AimLoan’s complaint score, however, was slightly above average. (All complaint ratios are conducted using the CFPB’s total number of complaints in 2020, divided by total loans originated in the same year).
Here’s an overview between Rocket Mortgage and AimLoan:
|States Available||All 50 States||All 50 States|
|Transparency of Pricing||5/5||5/5|
|Loan Product Variety||4/5||2/5|
|Minimum Credit Score||580 – 620 depending on loan type||620 for conventional; 720 for jumbo|
|Minimum Down Payment||0% to 3.5%||5%|
|Closing Timeline||45 days||30 – 45 days|
Rocket Mortgage vs. AimLoan: Products Offered
Loan programs each has their own unique set of perks and benefits. Choosing the right program could not only mean the difference between being approved or denied, it could also end up saving you hundreds to thousands of dollars in the long run.
For example, conventional loans may work for borrowers with decent credit and enough documented income and assets. On the flipside, those with less saved for a down payment but have a military affiliation could qualify for a 0% down payment VA loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, first-time homebuyers seeking grant of assistance programs will want to work with a lender that offers this type of assistance.
When it comes to Rocket Mortgage and AimLoan products offerings, they are different. AimLoan does not offer FHA loans, a low down payment loan program backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Rocket Mortgage does not offer ARM loans which have been growing in popularity with the current rising mortgage rate environment. Both lenders do not offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
Rocket Mortgage vs. AimLoan: Rates and Fees
It can be challenging to really know which mortgage lender is offering the best deal. That is because each mortgage lender offers varying interest rates and associated fees. One lender may offer a low mortgage interest rate, but it includes higher upfront closing costs. A second lender may offer what seems like a higher interest rate, but charges less in closing and lender fees. Understanding all the fees involved with each loan can help borrowers make an informed decision.
Using a mortgage calculator can be helpful in determining which combination of interest rates and fees will give you the best deal in the long run.
Here’s a breakdown of the fees for both AimLoan and Rocket Mortgage:
|Do Advertised Rates Include Discount Points?||Yes||Yes|
|Credit Report fee||$50||$55|
|Tax Service Fee||$48||$64|
|Flood Certification Fee||$8||$5|
|Rate Lock||45 days||30 days|
Rocket Mortgage vs. AimLoan: Transparency and Online Conveniences:
Finding lenders that are upfront, transparent and make pricing available online, can make the loan shopping process much simpler. That is why transparency and accessibility of pricing is one of the five main scoring criteria to determine the best online mortgage lender.
Some lenders, like Rocket Mortgage, offer a high level of transparency by providing rate quotes online. Although detailed information about fees and options for discount points or lender credits requires a phone call with one of their representatives.
AimLoan, however, goes a step further by allowing borrowers to see multiple combinations of rates and discount points fully online.
|Fast Preapproval Online?||No||Yes|
|Rates Available Online?||Yes||Yes|
|Fees Accessible Online?||No||Yes|
|Credit Check Needed for Rate Quote?||No||No|
|Easy Online Application?||Yes||Yes|
|Phone Call With Loan Officer Needed Before Getting Rate Quote?||Yes||No|
|Application to Closing All Online?||Yes||Yes|
|Document Upload Available?||Yes||Yes|
|Website/Application Process Experience||Smooth & Seamless||Smooth & Seamless|
|Online Tools/Calculators Available||Yes||Yes|
Rocket Mortgage or AimLoan: Who Is Better to Refinance With?
Refinancing your mortgage can provide you with a number of different benefits. It can help lower your monthly mortgage payment, pay off your house more quickly, or allow you to get cash in your pocket by taking advantage of the equity in your home.
With a conventional refinance, you have the option to do either a rate and term refinance, or a cash-out refinance. With a rate and term refinance, you can pay off your current mortgage with a new loan that has a different interest rate or loan term. The combination of the new loan term and interest rate determines how much monthly savings you can expect to see. On the other hand, a cash-out refinance can allow you to tap into your home’s equity to get cash for things like home improvements or debt consolidation.
Both companies offer similar refi products. But, since AimLoan doesn’t have FHA loans, FHA streamline refinance is not available either.
How to Shop for a Mortgage Lender
If you’re in the market to buy a home, it’s a good idea to get prequalified or preapproved to help determine how much house you can afford. While both are useful, there are some important differences to note. One of which is the fact that a prequalification typically does not involve verifying any documents from you as the borrower. So if you are considering making offers on homes, you’ll want to look into a preapproval, as this will give your offer more weight since sellers will know that a lender has at least verified your income, credit, and assets.
You’ll have a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing a lender. To find the best deal, make sure to check with at least a few different companies. This can include credit unions, banks, and mortgage brokers. You’ll also want to obtain a written Loan Estimate to avoid being surprised by unexpected fees during the loan process. Since fees can vary based on the characteristics of your loan, you can make the comparison process simpler if you provide each lender with the same information, such as the loan amount, purchase price, property location, property type, and down payment amount.
When comparing pricing among different lenders, also keep in mind that some may charge discount points or charge more closing costs in exchange for a lower rate. The lower interest rate may seem like a good deal up front, but the added closing costs could mean that you’ll actually pay more over the long run. Don’t rule out lenders who are charging higher interest rates.
To figure out the best deal, compare lender offers here using this Home Loan Comparison Tool. You can enter in the loan amount, rate, fees, and term for each offer and see a true side-by-side comparison of your potential monthly mortgage payment and how closing costs, lender fees, and interest rates play out over time with each loan offer.
Home loan comparison calculator
Compare your payment options side-by-side to see which is right for you and your financial situation.
Find the mortgage that’s best for you by comparing the cost of multiple loans over time.