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Quicken Loans vs First Financial Services Inc.

I am looking for some unbiased opinions/advice regarding an online mortgage for a first time homebuyer. I initially got pre-approved via Quicken Loans before house hunting with a realtor. Now that we've found some houses, I want to get the best deal but not have the deal fall out below me due to a shady company.

The loan officer I have been working with at Quicken is great, super communicative and seems like the process would be a breeze. However their rate is 4.625% right now for me on a 30yr/fixed.

I saw 930+ reviews on First Financial Services Inc. here on Zillow but am curious if they truly are as good as the reviews sound. They are offering a 4.0% loan which would save me hundreds of dollars. But I read countless yelp reviews saying run the other way from First Financial. I just want to see if anyone has personal experience with either, or ideally both companies and could provide a first time buyer like myself with some help. Thank you so much!
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October 28 2013 - Broomfield
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Ask yourself this question: Would I prefer to work with a Loan Officer who I an count on in the future and who will show up at the closing on my new home to explain the documents that I am asked to sign?
If your answer is yes, ask your realtor to recommend a local professional with a reputation to keep in your market. Good luck to you!
Keith
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October 28 2013
In my opinion I would recommend using someone local that you can actually go to and see. Someone that will show up to the closing, bring the paperwork to you for you to sign and be able to explain it in person as opposed to over the phone. This just makes the first time homebuyer experience a lot easier and less stressful in my opinion.

Thank You!
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October 28 2013
Check and see if First Financial Services or Quicken can actually lock you at that rate or if it is just an estimate.  Also, ask if either First Financial Services or Quicken are charging points to buy the rate down.  Often shady lenders quote you at a lower number then they are really pricing you at, then charge fees on the backend to buy the rate down to a number that sounds good.  You're actually paying more for a better rate rather as opposed to qualifying at it for free from a reputable lender.  

Make sure you have a qualified person review your GFE before settling on a lender to check for any hidden fees or points before you commit.  
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October 28 2013
Nic Netherton should be your first call. The link goes to his website. His reviews are real.
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October 28 2013
I send my buyers to loan officers they can go see and touch and won't hide in other states. It can't hurt you to speak to a couple local ones and your Realtor can suggest them. It's free so why would you not?


tim
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October 28 2013
I am a high volume Denver agent, and I see lots of loan transactions get butchered on purchase transactions by sub-par loan officers and mortgage companies who don't have a smooth back end process.  I am at the point were I will only accept pre-qual letters on my listings from a handful of local mortgage bankers, because so many other companies will screw up the loan, or write frivolous pre-qual letters for buyers that they can't really get approved when it comes time to close.

As a buyer, you have a lot at stake if your mortgage company screws up.  

For starters, they can cost you your earnest money if they turn your loan down at the last minute (after the loan commitment deadline).   Even worse, they could cost you the entire contract on the property if they start asking for more time and the seller doesn't agree.   (For instance, if the seller received a higher back-up offer and is looking for a valid reason to kick you to the curb in favor of the other offer.)

There are only 5-6 companies in Denver that I trust with my buyer's loans.  Small mortgage brokers, bank branches, credit unions, online companies, etc, mess up too many loans for me to trust them with my clients.

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October 28 2013
I can assure you that we honor every quote on Zillow - guaranteed.  We have been one of Zillow's top rated lenders for several years now simply by being transparent and honoring what we advertise.  As a high volume lender we have established preferred pricing from our investors that we pass on to you, the consumer.  We will typically have better pricing than Quicken loans (we don't have Super Bowl ads to pay for), and more often than not we will beat your local lender.  If you are comforatble transacting online, and are ok with your loan officer not being at the closing table with you - we are your lender.  We can do a full credit, income, asset underwrite on a "to be determined" property for you.  Once you are under contract, we'll order the appraisal and your loan is essentially complete.  We are also a Better Business Bureau accredited business with an A+ rating and are recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine.  We'd love to earn your business and save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

David Hay
VP - Marketing
First Financial Services, Inc.
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October 29 2013
First off just because you can see and talk with someone face to face does not mean they are better than any online lender. With that being said usually face to face lenders charge the most junk fees because their overhead. I have dealt with people who used Quicken and people who used FFSI. I personally recommend FFSI because I know the character of their employees and have friends who work there. I also have friends who work for Quicken. I like the process at FFSI and their rates are great, processors are first class and they get the deal fast with personalized service. Quicken you are just a number.

Hopefully that gives you an idea.
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October 29 2013
 I see lots of loan transactions get butchered on purchase transactions by sub-par loan officers
============================
agreed.

Many of the boiler room loan officers, who have spent the last few years doing almost nothing but refinances don't have the purchase experience. Do you really want to be the guinea pig?

Ask the loan officer how many purchase transaction they closed last year and how many YTD.

This is nothing against on line lenders per se; I get most of my business on line and I'm all for it; but I strongly recommend weeding out the ones who have little or no purchase experience. And I mean by loan officer; if you're set on using FFS at least find out how much purchase experience the LO has and ifs not much have him redirect you to one of their LO's that has a lot of purchase experience.
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October 29 2013
A lot of people assuming online lenders are "boiler room" loan officers with no experience. Why all the mud slinging guys?

I work for FFSI. I have been in the mortgage business since 1999 where I started in servicing. I spent 3 years doing exclusively purchase business. Most of the guys here have a good bit of experience doing both refinance and purchase business under their belt. So easy on the judgement there boys.

I recently compared my clients quote with Quicken and I was able to offer them the same rate with $6000 less in costs on the same day the rates were quoted.. 

As far as the Yelp reviews... Google"yelp business extortion". I wouldn't trust yelp reviews for anything. Check our better business bureau rating. A+. :)
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October 29 2013
A lot of people assuming online lenders are "boiler room" loan officers 
==============================
its a figure of speech, it wasn't meant to be pejorative.

My muddled point was that it gets down to the loan officer.
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October 29 2013

At the end of the day, "bait and switch" tactics no longer exist in the mortgage industry due to 2010 Federal RESPA law revisions.  Once your rate is locked, a mortgage lender cannot deviate from the agreed terms unless your appraisal comes in low or your credit score drops.  Any negative Yelp review comes from a client that personally delayed the process and faced an extension fee which all lenders have. 

FFSi is a direct wholesale lender that offers the most competitive rates with some of the most experienced loan officers in the industry.  If a prospective borrower chooses to go local or to a large retail lender (i.e. Quicken), they can expect to pay thousands more in closing costs or in the form of a higher rate.  In my experiences, local brokers are less knowledgeable and use scare tactics with prospective borrowers to keep them away from more competitive Zillow-type lenders.

If you are a well-qualified borrower the choice is simple.  Zillow lenders will get you the best deal and the customer service experience is the exact same.      

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March 18
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"... "bait and switch" tactics no longer exist in the mortgage industry due to 2010 Federal RESPA law revisions."

"...local brokers are less knowledgeable and use scare tactics with prospective borrowers to keep them away from more competitive Zillow-type lenders."

Bait and switch does exists RESPA or no RESPA revision. Some lenders are knowledgeable and honest while others tell you one thing to get you in or quote a rate you clearly don't qualify for or they change the rules in the middle.

It is important to pick a knowledgable lender that you can trust, but painting one whole group of brokers with the same brush is not right. Some online lenders that are great and some local lenders stink and vice versa. A broker's location does not dictate their quality. Good is good.
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March 18

Bait and Switch legally cannot exist - if you have been in the industry since the 2008 collapse you know this.  Once you lock a rate nowadays it cannot change barring a low appraisal or credit score change during the processing period.  If you are referring to someone just receiving quotes, sure rates change daily until they decide to lock.  

Being a local broker/lender is fine but they consistently have higher rates than a Zillow-type lender.  There is no denying this fact.  I have worked for both - a local broker will make several thousand in commission on a file whereas a wholesale lender is likely closing more loans per month with less margin.  It's a different business model, but as far as consumers are concerned they can typically get a better deal online.  If everyone could get the best rate going locally then websites like Lending Tree and Zillow would not exist.      

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March 18
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"Bait and Switch legally cannot exist"

Ahh, but it does. The law does not make practice. It can guide it, but it is not a guarantee.

"Being a local broker/lender is fine but they consistently have higher rates than a Zillow-type lender."

Before your focus was a bit different when you said "local brokers are less knowledgeable and use scare tactics with prospective borrowers". Really? Local lenders are automatically less knowledgable and are bullies based on location? I don't think so. 

You can argue same legal protections. Maybe you can argue cheaper, but once you cross the bridge to argue that a lender is automatically less knowledgeable or honest based on local or not, you look foolish. 

FYI many lenders who are online also do business locally. Are they half knowledgable then? The quality of lenders online and off varies. Claiming that online brokers are always more knowledgeable is a stretch.

You're right about one thing though. There are lots of great lenders on Zillow. Not all are great, but anytime you gather a group cream rises and sour usually departs. If you haven't seen any inaccurate statements from online lenders, I'd invite you to hang out a while and maybe you'll see that not all lenders the same not matter where they do business. 
 
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March 18

I can only speak on my experiences which are nine years in the industry.  Yes, I am generalizing and there could be always be occurrences where a local bank or lender is in fact competitive.  However, in my experiences this is rarely the case.  There is no need to nitpick my retort Sunnyview.  There are good lenders and perhaps some not so great but you will have to agree that the bad apples in this industry are no longer after reform.  The whole reason the government implemented new regulations was to prevent bait and switch tactics and ultimately protect the consumer.  It sounds like to me you have a problem with the large wholesale lenders on Zillow because you cannot compete with them.   

At the end of the day it boils down to this - If everyone could get the best rate going locally then websites like Lending Tree and Zillow would not exist.  Americans in 2014 are increasingly tech savvy and shop online for a plethora of services with home mortgages being one of them.   I know in the future when I need a mortgage where I will be shopping and it will not be the local broker or Quicken Loans.      

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March 19
Profile picture for sunnyview
"There are good lenders and perhaps some not so great but you will have to agree that the bad apples in this industry are no longer after reform. "

No, we don't agree on that. The bad apples are not out of the industry due to "RESPA revision" or anything else. Spin it any way you want, but the industry just hasn't changed to the point of every transaction being bait and switch free. There are just too many loopholes and too little enforcement for that ever to happen. 

Doesn't really matter though. As long as people have good brokers to choose from, it's all good online and off.
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March 19

To be licensed with NMLS and be able to perform mortgage loans in the United States you now must:  
 
* Complete 20 hours of Pre-licensing education and additional further education for specific states.
* Pass a nationwide licensing exam as well as a state licensing exam for every state you operate in.  
* Maintain financial well-being and submit to annual credit report checks.  If you have a history of financial mishaps and low credit scores you will not be granted licensure.   
* Submit to a criminal background check which negates convicted felons or misdemeanors involving financial crimes.

* Complete the required continuing education requirements each year.
* Many states require surety bonds.

These new licensing rules coupled with RESPA reform effectively got "rid" of the bad apples that attempt to do the public harm.  Sure, there may be the few that squeaked through the cracks but that is the exception.  If you lock a rate nowadays at agreed terms it cannot change without a bonafide reason.  Consumers are very will protected compared to 2006 (sub-prime days).        
 
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March 19
I just had a loan close with Quiken and they did a great job getting documents to me and the buyer on time at first I thought it would be a headache but everything went as smooth as I could ask for.
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March 25
My client from Texas purchased a 2nd home in the NC mountains here recently and was very satisfied with First Financial.  He was very well qualified and shopped around and said that Quicken's quote was appox 0.375% higher in rate, as well as some local banks he normally used.  He also found First Fin to be very easy to work with. 
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April 02
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I will never ever work with FFS mortgages again. I Closed on a Loan with FFS mortgages on March 8th 2013. I closed on March 8th but still had to sign papers for FFS even after closing like until March 23rd.
for the process that started on putting in an application Feb 8th 2013.

30 day lock - 3.5% no hidden  fee and that really attracted me made  work with them.
Excellent credit, DTI less than 35% and loan amount was only 160k and put down 25% but still had some sleepless night with them.

They asked my to prove that  I have not had a Personal loan from with anyone in this world.
I asked them should I get letters from 7 Billion people living on the earth?
Lots and lots of paper work. Inexperienced Underwriter will give you sleepless nights. in spite of closing with them I will never ever recommend them
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August 31
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Our experience with First Financial Services was a good one.  We refinanced in 2012 and it went remarkably smoothly.  I was VERY nervous about doing something like that online, but there really were no problems.  The people I dealt with there were very communicative, and they were even willing to do a very abbreviated form of appraisal because the house had been appraised within the last two years.  That saved us money as well.  And their rate was pretty much the best we found. That is possibly because they used Flagstar Bank which has many negative reviews online. It is apparently really hard to deal with if there is ever a problem (late payment, etc.) but again, we have not had any problems yet. But we opted to have the loan paid through automatic withdrawal and the taxes impounded each month and paid automatically, which we'd never done before, and that has been glitch free as well.  So, though things could have changed at First Financial Services I suppose, when we used them, they were perfectly fine.
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4 days ago
 
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  • Posted by ElBow513
  • In Mortgage
  • October 28 2013
Mortgage Rates
 
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