Rocket Mortgage is one of America’s largest and most recognized lenders1. Their digital lending journey and client experience are nearly unmatched in their field. Not surprisingly, credit unions—and CU 2.0—think of Rocket Mortgage as the competition.
But might they make better partners?
For a surprising number of credit unions, the answer might be “yes.”
Read on to learn more about the case for partnering with Rocket Mortgage, which includes insight about which credit unions might find a better fit and what makes those partnerships tick.
Mortgage Lending Isn’t for Everyone
Which credit unions might benefit from a Rocket Mortgage partnership? Let’s explore.
I got my mortgage from my credit union. They offered the best rate, saved me hundreds on closing costs, and were extremely friendly throughout the “all digital” process.
“All digital” is a stretch though, because even though I didn’t have to go into my branch, it was still a tedious, manual process. And this is from a $3B+ institution with a significant mortgage department that services its own loans.
Most credit unions are smaller and have fewer resources at their fingertips. It’s no wonder that credit unions are losing market share to big lenders like Rocket Mortgage. It also highlights a growing trend:
Many credit unions no longer see mortgage lending as a profit center.
Furthermore, thousands of credit unions control less than $1B in assets. For these credit unions—and even many mid-size credit unions—mortgages simply aren’t part of their product or growth strategy.
Accordingly, the best candidates for Rocket Mortgage partnerships are credit unions that:
- Want to offer mortgages to bring in new members, retain current members, all without the challenges of a full inhouse operation and support community homeownership.
- Currently offer mortgages mostly to protect their member deposit base.
- Don’t see mortgage lending as a profit center.
The reality is that not all credit unions can or want to sustain a mortgage lending program. However, offering mortgages can be a vital member and community service. Rocket Mortgage believes that they can give more credit unions the ability to make that happen.
What Do Rocket Mortgage Partnerships Look Like for Credit Unions?
To begin, let’s talk branding and experience. Rocket Mortgage co-brands their mortgage experience. This is absolutely by design, and it’s to lean into their national brand of mortgage expertise and your branded trust with your members.
With co-branded materials, and landing pages within their site for your members, they lean into the trust your members have with you while allowing your members to gain access to their mortgage experience which they have continued to enhance for nearly 40 years.
For the credit unions listed above, that’s not a bad trade.
Especially when you consider that Rocket Mortgage has different partnership constructs. Per our understanding, some things that Rocket Mortgage has in different models:
- Exclusive member benefits.
- Full Rocket Mortgage product suite.
- Embedded servicing module within your current online and mobile banking experience.
- Opportunity for a Marketing Services Agreement for mortgage marketing activities
Rocket Mortgage knows they have the ability to help credit unions serve their members while allowing you to focus time and money on more profitable areas of your organization. They have to offer something that will work for the needs of credit unions and their members. The reality is this:
Credit unions that partner with Rocket Mortgage, the most awarded mortgage servicer2, get an excellent digital mortgage lending experience for their members.
In return, Rocket Mortgage receives new mortgage applications, all while leaving the communication about the partnership to you. Rocket Mortgage will not market directly to your members or even ask for member lists and information from you.
To learn more about how Rocket Mortgage works with credit unions, download their partnership 1-pager here:
Rocket Mortgage is an interesting case for our Fintech Friday spotlight series. Yet, we think this partnership could be very viable—particularly for those who’ve decided that mortgages are no longer a profit center.
We highly recommend listening to the podcast we did with Rocket Mortgage for more information (and to put a human voice to the company).
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1Based on Rocket Mortgage data in comparison to public data records.
2For J.D. Power 2023 award information, visit JDPower.com/awards.
Rocket Mortgage, LLC; NMLS #3030; www.NMLSConsumerAccess.org. Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in 50 states. AL License No. MC 20979, Control No. 100152352. AR, TX: 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1906, (888) 474-0404; AZ: 1 N. Central Ave., Ste. 2000, Phoenix, AZ 85004, Mortgage Banker License #BK-0902939; CA: Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act; CO: Regulated by the Division of Real Estate; GA: Residential Mortgage Licensee #11704; IL: Residential Mortgage Licensee #4127 – Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation; KS: Licensed Mortgage Company MC.0025309; MA: Mortgage Lender License #ML 3030; ME: Supervised Lender License; MN: Not an offer for a rate lock agreement; MS: Licensed by the MS Dept. of Banking and Consumer Finance; NH: Licensed by the NH Banking Dept., #6743MB; NV: License #626; NJ: New Jersey – Rocket Mortgage, LLC, 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226, (888) 474-0404, Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance.; NY: Rocket Mortgage, LLC, 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226 Licensed Mortgage Banker-NYS Department of Financial Services; OH: MB 850076; OR: License #ML-1387; PA: Licensed by the Dept. of Banking – License #21430; RI: Licensed Lender; WA: Consumer Loan Company License CL-3030. Conditions may apply.