'Rocket Mortgages': Super Bowl Ad Backlash Prompts Caution on Return to Easy Lending

A Super Bowl ad by mortgage lender Quicken Loans focused on its new “Rocket Mortgage” service, which the ad claims provides super fast and easy home-loan qualifying. The ad’s voiceover likens the service to buying a pair of shoes online — yes, that easy, less than 10 minutes.

But that claim drew a Tweet from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency created in the aftermath of the financial crisis and housing market collapse five years ago. The housing bubble that burst in the 2007-2008 time-frame was mostly fueled by subprime mortgages, which were as easy to get as the Super Bowl ad implies.
Here’s the tweet from the CFPB following the “Rocket Mortgage” ad:


The “Rocket Mortgage” was launched in December by Quicken, which is the third-largest mortgage lender in the U.S. The service analyzes your financial and credit history to determine your loan eligibility, essentially cutting out a middle-man or broker.
The Super Bowl ad (see the video below) has prompted a backlash in the media beyond the CPFB’s Tweet.
Bloomberg Business said the ad falls into the realm of having “forgotten that the financial meltdown ever happened.”
Bloomberg put it this way: “Perhaps the process of securing financing for that ought to be more onerous than buying Taylor Swift’s new album on iTunes.”
From a Quicken Loans press release on Feb. 2:
“RocketLoans provides the most convenient and efficient personal loan experience in the industry, giving clients access to the funds they need without any hidden tricks or gimmicks,” said Todd Lunsford, RocketLoans CEO and veteran Quicken Loans executive. “Today’s consumers have made it clear – they want simplicity and transparency from lenders. With RocketLoans, we have met that demand, while also streamlining the process and ensuring our clients have the cash they need quickly.”

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