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Become A Loan Officer

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Working As A Loan Officer

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $47,544

    Average Salary

What Does A Loan Officer Do

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses. 

Duties

Loan officers typically do the following:

  • Contact companies or people to ask if they need a loan
  • Meet with loan applicants to gather personal information and answer questions
  • Explain different types of loans and the terms of each one to applicants
  • Obtain, verify, and analyze the applicant’s financial information, such as the credit rating and income level
  • Review loan agreements to ensure that they comply with federal and state regulations
  • Approve loan applications or refer them to management for a decision

Loan officers use a process called underwriting to assess whether applicants qualify for loans. After collecting and verifying all the required financial documents, the loan officer evaluates the information they obtain to determine the applicant’s need for a loan and ability to pay back the loan. Most firms use underwriting software, which produces a recommendation for the loan based on the applicant’s financial status. After the underwriting software produces a recommendation, loan officers review the output of the software and consider any additional information to make a final decision.

The work of loan officers has sizable customer-service and sales components. Loan officers often answer questions and guide customers through the application process. In addition, many loan officers must market the products and services of their lending institution and actively solicit new business. 

The following are common types of loan officers:

Commercial loan officers specialize in loans to businesses, which often use the loans to buy supplies and upgrade or expand operations. Commercial loans frequently are larger and more complicated than other types of loans. Because companies have such complex financial situations and statements, commercial loans usually require human judgment in addition to the analysis by underwriting software. Furthermore, some commercial loans are so large that no single bank will provide the entire amount requested. In such cases, loan officers may have to work with multiple banks to put together a package of loans. 

Consumer loan officers specialize in loans to people. Consumers take out loans for many reasons, such as buying a car or paying college tuition. For some simple consumer loans, the underwriting process is fully automated. However, the loan officer is still needed to guide applicants through the process and to handle cases with unusual circumstances. Some institutions—usually small banks and credit unions—do not use underwriting software and instead rely on loan officers to complete the underwriting process manually.

Mortgage loan officers specialize in loans used to buy real estate (property and buildings), which are called mortgage loans. Mortgage loan officers work on loans for both residential and commercial properties. Often, mortgage loan officers must seek out clients, which requires developing relationships with real estate companies and other sources that can refer prospective applicants. 

Within these three fields, some loan officers specialize in a particular part of the loan process:

Loan collection officers contact borrowers who fail to make their loan payments on time. They work with borrowers to help them find a way to keep paying off the loan. If the borrower continues to miss payments, loan officers start the process of taking away what the borrower used to secure the loan (called “collateral”)—often a home or car—and selling it to repay the loan. 

Loan underwriters specialize in evaluating whether a client is creditworthy. They collect, verify, and evaluate the client’s financial information provided on their loan applications and then use loan underwriting software to produce recommendations.

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How To Become A Loan Officer

Most loan officers need a bachelor’s degree and receive on-the-job training. Mortgage loan officers must be licensed.

Education

Loan officers typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in a field such as business or finance. Because commercial loan officers analyze the finances of businesses applying for credit, they need to understand general business accounting, including how to read financial statements.  

Some loan officers may be able to enter the occupation without a bachelor’s degree if they have related work experience, such as experience in sales, customer service, or banking. 

Training

Once hired, loan officers usually receive some on-the-job training. This may be a combination of formal, company-sponsored training and informal training during the first few months on the job.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Mortgage loan officers must have a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license. To become licensed, they must complete at least 20 hours of coursework, pass an exam, and submit to background and credit checks. Licenses must be renewed annually, and individual states may have additional requirements.

Several banking associations, including the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association, as well as a number of schools, offer courses, training programs, or certifications for loan officers. Although not required, certification shows dedication and expertise and thus may enhance a candidate’s employment opportunities. 

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Loan officers must assess an applicant’s financial information and decide whether to award the applicant a loan. 

Detail oriented. Each piece of information on an application can have a major effect on the profitability of a loan, meaning that loan officers must pay attention to detail.

Initiative. Loan officers need to seek out new clients. They often act as salespeople, promoting their lending institution and contacting firms to determine their need for a loan.

Interpersonal skills. Because loan officers work with people, they must be able to guide customers through the application process and answer their questions.

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Loan Officer jobs

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Real Loan Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Vice President, Loan Officer Greystone Funding Corporation New York, NY Mar 21, 2016 $200,000
Loan Officers Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC Newport Beach, CA Mar 05, 2013 $165,000
Loan Officers Bank Hapoalim New York, NY Feb 06, 2014 $160,866
Loan Officers Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation New York, NY May 06, 2014 $160,326
Loan Officers Bankasiana Palisades Park, NJ Jun 18, 2012 $119,600
Loan Officers Royal Bank of Canada New York, NY Aug 06, 2012 $110,000
Loan Officers DBS Bank Ltd Los Angeles, CA Jul 19, 2012 $103,127
Loan Officers Leader Bank, National Association Arlington, MA Dec 12, 2013 $101,400
Loan Officer Bank of America Chicago, IL Jan 07, 2011 $96,900
Loan Officers Worldbusiness Capital, Inc. Hartford, CT Feb 03, 2011 $95,000
Loan Officers Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. NY May 20, 2013 $94,931
Loan Officer TD Bank, N.A. Beverly, MA Jan 05, 2011 $91,300
Loan Officers Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. New York, NY Aug 01, 2012 $89,211
Loan Officers Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. New York, NY Jun 01, 2012 $89,211
Loan Officer Pioneer Mutual Federal Credit Union Sugar Land, TX Jun 17, 2016 $65,187
Loan Portfolio Officer Center Bank Los Angeles, CA Mar 21, 2011 $65,000
Loan Officer-Foreign Markets Premium Merchant Funding One, LLC New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $65,000
Loan Officer Ivy Mortgage Inc. Houston, TX Jun 11, 2015 $63,045
Loan Officer Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company Inc. White Plains, NY Oct 01, 2012 $62,443
Loan Officers Allsource Realty, Inc. Bergenfield, NJ Sep 05, 2013 $62,234
Loan Officer Wing Lung Bank, Ltd. San Francisco, CA Jul 09, 2016 $50,274
Loan Officer Funding Circle USA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 27, 2015 $50,274
Loan Officer The Bank of Princeton Philadelphia, PA May 02, 2011 $50,088
Loan Officer KEB La Financial Corp. Los Angeles, CA Sep 10, 2014 $50,088
Loan Officer China Citic Bank International Ltd. Alhambra, CA Sep 09, 2014 $50,088
Loan Officer Mortgage World Bankers NY Apr 01, 2011 $50,088
Loan Officer Radius Financial Group Inc. Norwell, MA Sep 01, 2013 $50,000

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Top Skills for A Loan Officer

FinancialStatusRealEstateAgentsCustomerServiceFHAEntireLoanProcessCreditReportsLoanProgramsEquityLoanProductsPropertyEvaluationsLoanDocumentsCreditHistoriesCorporateFinancialStatementsFinancialInformationTitleCompaniesLoanFilesMortgageProductsCreditOptionsLoanApprovalDifferentTypes

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Top Loan Officer Skills

  1. Financial Status
  2. Real Estate Agents
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyze applicants' financial status, credit, and property evaluation to determine loan feasibility.
  • Interacted with appraisers and real estate agents to ascertain the true market value of assets.
  • Managed the overall functioning of the branch, including all aspects of customer services as well as personnel supervision.
  • Qualified borrowers and explained different loan programs and requirements - FHA, VA, Conventional, Reverse Purchases and Refinances.
  • Build and maintain a strong relationship throughout the entire loan process and after closing.

Top Loan Officer Employers

Loan Officer Videos

Life of a Mortgage Loan Officer

A Day in the Life - Loan Officer

Commercial Loan Officer, Career Video from drkit.org

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