NEW YORK – Bad mortgages to buyers who could not afford them put the United States on the path to the Great Recession. So CBS News was curious when we saw an ad during the Super Bowl for an eight-minute mortgage.
Quicken Loans’ Super Bowl ad made a simple proposition.
“What if we did for mortgages what the internet did to buy music, plane tickets and shoes,” the voiceover said in the ad.
That’s what they offer with Rocket Mortgages.
But just seven years after the housing crisis nearly brought the economy down, publicity sounded the alarm bells.
“Let’s get through the financial crisis, but with applications,” Washington Post’s Dave Weigel tweeted.
Holden Lewis with bankrate.com said that a mortgage seeker’s median credit score is now 753 (out of 850), the highest since 2001. Rocket Mortgage is just trying to streamline the application process.
“I know a lot of people have interpreted the ad to say we’re going back to the days of easy money, but that’s just not the case,” Lewis said. “I think that’s a game-changer, in a sense that other mortgage companies are going to have to make it easier to capture your papers and documents.”
On the Rocket app, you enter your income and bank details, which allows Quicken to communicate directly with banks. It estimates affordable house prices and costs and allows customers to set a rate, said Quicken president Jay Farner.
“If you go to Rocket Mortgage, you can see the interest rates, you can see the fees,” he said. “You can see how changing the interest rates would change your fees. “
So it’s not about changing credit standards?
“No. Again, Quicken Loans is known to have some of the highest credit standards in the country,” Farner said.
Rocket, he said, is trying to unravel the mystery of the mortgage process.
The announcement certainly attracted attention. Farner said 14,000 people visited their website in the first minute it was broadcast.