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As of June 25, 2018, we’ve made some changes to the way our mortgage approvals work. You can read more about our Power Buyer ProcessTM.

If you’re thinking about buying a home anytime soon, getting proof of approval from your lender is a great way to get started. But how do different lenders calculate how much you’re approved for? How accurate is your approved loan amount? Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced homeowner, these questions are bound to come up.

Luckily, Rocket Mortgage℠ by Quicken Loans lets you get approved online. You can get a real, customizable mortgage solution based on your unique financial situation.

But how does that work, and how does Rocket Mortgage’s approval differ from a preapproval or a prequalification that other lenders provide?

Review: Approval vs. Preapproval or Prequalification

Before we get into the details, let’s review. With a prequalification, you provide some financial information and your credit is pulled, but income and asset documentation isn’t verified and your loan approval amount may not be very accurate. Preapproval is a level above prequalification because it involves looking at your credit report and asking for an estimate of your income and savings.

What Makes Rocket Mortgage So Accurate

Rocket Mortgage’s approval is light-years ahead of a prequalification or a preapproval because it makes no assumptions about your financial profile. Normally, mortgage lenders ask for your monthly income and the amount of savings or funds you have during the preapproval process so they can estimate how much home you can afford. This estimate is often littered with assumptions about your credit profile.

Rocket Mortgage, on the other hand, is more accurate because it lets you share your live bank account balance and income information online in real time. Using our network of trusted sources, you can effortlessly import all the financial information you need. It’s less work than downloading or uploading pay stubs, W-2s or PDFs from a separate website, or entering all that info manually. In this way, Rocket Mortgage verifies your income, assets and credit almost instantly via its direct interface with government underwriting systems, and gives you as accurate a mortgage solution as possible. This can help you be more confident when you’re ready to make an offer on a home and when you get further down the home buying path.

How Rocket Mortgage Calculates Your Loan Amount

Like any mortgage lender, Rocket Mortgage makes a calculation based on the financial information you provide and import to determine the size of home loan you qualify for. This calculation is based on your income, your credit report, and the amount of money you have saved in bank accounts or other types of assets. Good credit, consistent income and plenty of savings will help you meet your target home price – not to mention a nice low interest rate.

But here’s a key detail to know about how Rocket Mortgage works: It also asks you how much money from those assets you’re willing to put toward your purchase. That amount must cover not only your down payment, but also your closing costs, such as taxes and fees for your appraisal and real estate agent.

Like many home buyers, you may think having a lot of money in the bank counts toward your approval amount. But in reality, Rocket Mortgage will only calculate your approval amount based on the amount you’re willing to spend from your assets. If you’re not happy with the home price Rocket Mortgage approves you for, you can always go back and enter a higher amount to see if you qualify for a larger loan.

In general, the more money you’re willing to put toward your home purchase, the higher the loan amount you’ll get approved for.

So whether you already have a home picked out or you’re just getting started in your search, start your approval process with Rocket Mortgage. It’s a fast and simple way to get approved online.

This Post Has 39 Comments


    1. Hi Dawn,
      Every situation is different, and the maximum debt-to-income ratio on a loan will depend on a few different factors. In most cases, you’ll need a DTI of 50% or less to qualify for a loan. If you want to see what your options would be, you can get started online. Hope this helps!

  2. I was pre-approved for $350K FHA, but now I have a 30 day late on my credit report which I immediately paid. I guess I’ve gotten side tracked with everything going on with Covid-19. What will happen to my pre-approval? My Experian credit score is 1 point away from 580, and I’m hoping that improves prior to closing on a home since I’ve paid down some balances I owe. My other scores are above 580.

    1. Hi N J:

      While it’s not good to have a late payment, when your credit score is looked at for qualification, lenders look at the median score between the three bureaus. If the other two are above 580 and this was around the same range your credit score was before, you should be fine credit score wise. Now, there are late payment guidelines to think about. You might run into a problem there because you can’t have a late payment in the 12 months prior to application with your credit score at the level that it is per our FHA guidelines. For the purposes of a mortgage, your application isn’t complete until the lender has, among other things, the property address you’re looking to purchase. It’s important to note that these guidelines apply specifically to mortgage and rent late payments. If the late payment was on a different account, it may be treated differently. I would advise speaking with your lender Home Loan Expert about any options you may have. If you haven’t begun working with us yet, you can also give us a call at (888) 980-6716.

      1. Where can I find more information regarding the guidelines with late payments? I don’t see that information anywhere on the site, all I see is that you have to have a credit score of at least 580 to qualify for an FHA loan. Just to clarify your statement as well, the 12 month period only applies to rent or mortgage missed payments?

        1. Hi J.B.:

          I’m going to take the second question first. Yes, the time being referred to is the timeframe since any rent or mortgage missed payments. It’s also very hard to give hard and fast guidelines regarding a specific number of late payments you can have because it depends on the type of loan you’re getting. Also, for some of our investors, late payments are only viewed as one risk factor to be weighed along with several others. For this reason, there is no number that anyone can give you. In general, you have a better chance of qualifying with fewer late mortgage and rent payments. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Ali:

      We use what’s called a tri-merged credit report. That means we get your report and scores from all three bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Hope this helps!

  3. To many I have read though this site, and those that do not have the seven year history of employment, or lower scores and they replied back to call what they call their home assistance program, what it is and I have been though this, they will want you to pay for a credit repair though them that is ever high and will cost you more money and the average time they will tell you is up to 6 months, Credit repair is not hard to due yourself, if you go to say credit karma, they have many issues they will tell you how they are fixed by credit repair companies, and how you can do it your self why waste sometimes up to 3 grand when you can do it yourself, plus as in what I went though years ago with quicken, even after they get your credit repaired their is no guarantee you will get the loan, all this information, on how to fix issues etc.. with a little time and research you can get together all the things you will need to get the loan, and also how to get your credit scores up. Save yourself a lot of money by doing it yourself it is not that hard.

  4. My spouse and I started the process with Rocket Mortgage but didn’t complete it because we have been stalled in our current ability to buy a house. I had no idea that both of our credit scores would be dinged because of hard inquiries — even just to look into using Rocket Mortgage. But lo and behold, both of us now have hard inquiries on our credit reports from QuickenLoans.
    I don’t recall giving any explicit permission to do a hard inquiry. Now we have to live with the consequences of looking into Rocket Mortgage.
    Thanks SO MUCH for that. These are people’s lives you’re playing with. Not that any of these bots care, but maybe this comment will save someone else from damaging their credit score, just by trying to “find out how much house you can afford!”
    What a waste on our end. No way we’re trusting QuickenLoans and we’ve told everyone we know to stay away, too.
    What else might they be doing with all your sensitive information? Such a shady, shady company.

    1. Hi Charles:

      I’m going to have our client relations team reach out. That said, when you apply on Rocket Mortgage, you’re applying for actual mortgage financing and when you do that, we have to pull your credit. We are very clear about that in the process. We have other affordability calculators. As far as personal information, we only take what we need and that is never shared with or sold to any third parties not involved in the lending process. Someone will be in contact.

      1. Zing Admin, your statement is false, I was contacted by Quicken and Rocket, I know and am working on my credit, so told them up front, I do not want hard pulls, and we talked how for an example auto dealers pull though ever Leander even if you ask the not to, so I ask and double, and was told, by Quicken loan employees, it is a soft pull well low and behold it does show as a hard. So even though yea you have to pull credit as that client stated they to are working and watching their credit so how do you ethical, and morally state that your company did what they ask, I out wright told them DO NOT PULL. THEY QUCKEN STAFF TOLD ME IT S A SOFT PULL, IT IS A HARD. So do not try to justify your companies irresponsibility, and out wright let them lie. when this is a fact and can be proven as all calls are monitored, I can even give you the names of who I talked to at quicken and on what date, I will be making another call to the agents I talked to just to let them know I will be disputing this to get removed off my credit, so if you work in a professional world then be professional, you guys always and I delt with quicken years ago and for that reason, being played around, told yea you will be good to jump hopes, get hit with all theses other fees, I went else were, I suggest to all ask and tell the employee for what ever finance you are looking for before they pull your credit, you do not agree as I did, and if they say it is a soft, tell them well I will check that out and get back to you, as they typically are hard pulls.

        1. Hi James:

          I’m sorry to hear about this. I’m going to get it to our client relations team to look into your experience and see exactly what happened here. Thanks for reaching out!

  5. Looking for some advice…
    My husband and I are looking to become first time home buyers. He has a score of 612 and steady work history (with current employer for 1 year now) and I have a score of 650 and was steady at my last job until last July when I decided to go back to school. We both have very low debt to income ratio. He is still paying on his student loans, I owe none. I have the higher score but no current income, he is making about $43K a year. The house we are considering is $200K (it’s been on the market a good while and i’m certain it will sell for less). We have a 20% down payment ready. With this being said do you think we qualify for a FHA loan? Chances of being approved for that amount? Thank you.

    1. Hi Saundra:

      We can certainly help you look into your options. With your income situation the way it is, I’m going to suggest you get started by speaking with one of our Home Loan Experts who can go over your situation and give you the best possible advice. They can be reached at (888) 980-6716. They would be able to tell you what to expect before moving forward.

      Kevin Graham

  6. Hi, I’ve had two temp jobs in 2017 before settling into a full-time job with a large brokerage firm. How long of a steady job history do I need before I can apply for a mortgage? My credit score is around 800 and I plan to have a down payment of 10%.

    1. Hi Matt:

      We recommend a two-year work history, generally. That said, every situation is different and you should probably have someone help look into your options. I’m going to recommend you speak with one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716.


  7. Hello, My wife and I are both retired. We are currently receiving all of our income from monthly withdrawals from our IRA. We are both currently eligible to receive Social Security but have chosen to delay that. We own our current home free and clear and also have zero debt liabilities. The new home will be our primary residence as we plan to sell our current home. Does your system work to qualify someone in our situation using our assets? We do not want to increase our current level of income at this time for tax reasons so using assets to qualify would be preferred. Is your online system capable of dealing with this situation or should we directly discus it with a loan officers?

    1. Hi Gerald:

      You can discuss it with one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716 if you want, but you don’t have to. Rocket Mortgage handles all different types of assets.


  8. What about if you are selling your current home, and the equity from that home is paying off all the debt you have. How can you go through the online process with all of that debt showing, when it will not exist at the time you purchase a new place?

    Also, is it problematic if you are relocating to another state?

    1. Hi Loreebee:

      So we always try to handle as much of your mortgage process online as possible if you go through Rocket Mortgage. In a home purchase, you can make your purchase of the new home contingent on the sale of your old one and be preapproved under the assumption that the debt will be paid off. What I recommend you do is get started online with Rocket Mortgage. If at some point the system stops along the way due to your existing debt that will be paid off, you can always speak with one of our Home Loan Experts right online via chat and we can keep all the documentation gathering and other requirements online for you wherever possible. If for some reason you would rather get started over the phone, you can always reach out to us at (888) 980-6716 and we’ll be happy to help.


  9. Hi,

    Can I be approved for a home loan without tax returns? I have some income documentation, including some W-2s which probably won’t account for all income, which is pretty high itself but also recent, starting last year. I also have high bank account balances and FICO 700+ that I can temporarily raise to mid 700s if needed.

    I’ve never bought a home so I’m unfamiliar with the process, my hope is to get into a nice house with very little down. Is this possible? Can I get a no-obligation prequalification that doesn’t put a hard inquiry on my credit report? How helpful would 750 FICO be vs 700?


    1. You pretty much need tax returns. At the very least, it’s always a good idea to have them available. That being said, I will recommend you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716. We can see if there’s anything we can do in your situation because everyone is different.

    1. Hi Kevin:

      You can use any loan to get a Fannie Mae REO property. However, I think what you’re saying is that you want to buy the home and then do some renovations in which case an FHA 203K would be the option. Unfortunately, we don’t do these. If you do just want to buy the house, we can help you with a preapproval online through Rocket Mortgage or by calling one of our Home Loan Experts at (888) 980-6716. Have a good day!

      Kevin Graham

  10. I have a few questions,
    1. what is the minimum credit score you need for a conventional (non FHA) loan? and the minimum down payment for those scores?
    2. Can you have a previous foreclosure history and still qualify for a non FHA? how old does the foreclosure need to be?
    3. any other must haves or can not haves to qualify for a non FHA loan?

    1. Hi Lisa:

      The minimum median FICO score for a conventional loan is 620. The minimum down payment would be 3%.

      With a conventional loan, you can’t have a foreclosure in the last seven years. The waiting period on FHA, VA or USDA loans is typically anywhere between two and three years. We do have one option where the waiting period is 12 months.

      In terms of other qualification guidelines, everyone is different. I’m going to recommend you speak with one of our Home Loan Experts by calling (888) 980-6716.

      Kevin Graham

  11. What is the min credit score needed to buy a home with a purchase price of 350,000 and have a 20% down payment towards the purchase?

    1. Hi Carlos:

      It depends on the type of loan you’re trying to get. You can qualify for an FHA loan with a median FICO score of as low as 580 if you have otherwise strong qualifying factors. If you’re working to qualify for a conventional, VA or USDA loan, the minimum median score required by Quicken Loans is 620. I hope this helps! If you would like to go over your options online, you can do so through Rocket Mortgage. Otherwise, feel free to give one of our Home Loan Experts a call at (888) 980-6716. Thanks!

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Misty:

      Full approvals are issued when you refinance through Rocket Mortgage. You’re preapproved when you buy a house.

      Preapproval gives you exactly how much you can afford to spend when you go house shopping. Your application isn’t officially complete until we know which property you intend to buy. At that point, your house has to go through an appraisal to determine how much it’s actually worth. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price you agree on, you have three options. You can bring the difference to the closing table, renegotiate the purchase price with the seller or walk away from the deal.

      You also want to make sure not to take out any new loans or credit that can lower your credit score between now and the closing of your loan.

      That said, getting a preapproval means you’re off to a very good start and well on your way to getting your home.

      Kevin Graham

  12. I am currently looking for pre-approval. I was told by a local lender (omaha, Ne) that I could not qualify for a FHA loan because my debt to income ratio did not meet the requirements. I have a pretty big student loan (BA, MA degrees). I am looking for a program where I could put less down. Wanted to know if you have a program that will help first time homebuyers with student loan debt. My loans are consolidated on a income based program.

    1. Hi Lucious:

      This isn’t necessarily the case with FHA, but there have been some changes made recently to student loan guidelines recently for conventional loans. They also have low down payment options in the 1% to 3% range. I’m going to recommend you get in touch with one of our Home Loan Experts, but we can definitely look into your options. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 980-6716.

      Kevin Graham

  13. What is minimum credit score to qualify for the 1%down payment and how does this 1% down payment program work

    1. Hi Cynthia:

      The minimum FICO score for our 1% down payment program is 680. Here’s how it works:

      You make a 1% down payment and we give you a 2% grant. You start with 3% equity in your home. In addition to the credit score, there are a few other requirements for this program. You must be purchasing a one-unit primary property and your income can’t exceed 100% of the median in your area. You can find local income limits through Freddie Mac. Finally, to give yourself the best chance of improvement your debt-to-income ratio should not exceed 45%. If you have any further questions, you can get in touch with one of our Home Loan Experts by calling (888) 980-6716.

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Tricia:

      If I understand you correctly, your husband has already been approved for a $330,000 purchase, but you chose to print out a lower preapproval amount as a negotiation tactic. You should be able to put in a loan amount up to the amount you were approved for within MyQL and reprint your letter. We wouldn’t have to rerun your credit.

  14. My husband Jason Tobias was approved for a mortgage on 9/16 and we decided on a different house now that is $330K and the owner would like a preappoval letter for the higher amount. Can we get that without you having to run our credit again.

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