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Become A Mortgage Underwriter

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Working As A Mortgage Underwriter

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

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $57,440

    Average Salary

What Does A Mortgage Underwriter 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 Mortgage Underwriter

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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The Role of a Mortgage Underwriter

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Mortgage Underwriter Jobs

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Mortgage Underwriter Career Paths

Mortgage Underwriter
Quality Control Analyst Quality Assurance Specialist Team Manager
Assistant Vice President Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Wholesale Account Executive Account Executive Personal Banker
Bank Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Auditor Account Executive Personal Banker
Banking Center Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Analyst Product Manager Sales Manager
Branch Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Wholesale Account Executive Branch Manager Relationship Manager
Business Development Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Real Estate Agent Personal Banker Business Banker
Business Relationship Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Compliance Analyst Senior Analyst Risk Manager
Chief Risk Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Asset Manager Manager, Assistant Vice President Credit Officer
Credit Director
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Analyst Operations Analyst Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Analyst Senior Project Manager Operations Vice President
Executive Vice President Of Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Quality Control Specialist Underwriter
Lending Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Real Estate Agent Mortgage Consultant Loss Mitigation Specialist
Loss Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Asset Manager Vice President And Manager Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Compliance Analyst Compliance Manager Risk Manager
Risk Management Director
10 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Specialist Underwriting Consultant Underwriting Manager
Underwriting Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Auditor Finance Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President & Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Assistant Vice President Vice President And Manager
Vice President Operation Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Mortgage Underwriter?

Mortgage Underwriter Demographics

Gender

Female

60.9%

Male

37.3%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

17.3%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.9%

Mandarin

6.9%

Chinese

6.9%

French

3.9%

Russian

3.9%

Portuguese

3.9%

Cantonese

3.9%

Italian

2.9%

Greek

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Swedish

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Bulgarian

1.0%

Igbo

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Tamil

1.0%

Filipino

1.0%

Albanian

1.0%
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Mortgage Underwriter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.8%

University of North Florida

5.9%

University of North Texas

5.9%

Strayer University

5.1%

Kaplan University

5.1%

Arizona State University

4.3%

University of Delaware

4.3%

University of South Florida

3.9%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.5%

Temple University

3.5%

Webster University

3.5%

Eastern Michigan University

3.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.5%

Cleveland State University

3.5%

Florida State University

3.5%

California State University - Fullerton

3.1%

Michigan State University

3.1%

University of Texas at San Antonio

3.1%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.1%

Southern Methodist University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

36.6%

Finance

15.8%

Accounting

9.3%

Management

4.3%

Marketing

4.0%

Real Estate

3.6%

Psychology

3.3%

Political Science

3.1%

Economics

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Communication

2.1%

Education

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Legal Support Services

1.6%

English

1.4%

Sociology

1.3%

Computer Information Systems

1.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.2%

General Studies

1.1%

Human Resources Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.8%

Other

28.6%

Masters

12.7%

Associate

9.6%

Certificate

4.1%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.7%

Diploma

0.6%
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Mortgage Underwriter Videos

Mortgage Career

The Role of a Mortgage Underwriter

USAA Mortgage Underwriter

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Real Mortgage Underwriter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mortgage Underwriter Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. NY Jun 15, 2015 $58,561
Mortgage Underwriter City Capital Mortgage Banking Corp. Floral Park, NY May 22, 2008 $57,956
Underwriter Commercial Mortgages Fortune Commercial Capital LLC Laurel, MD Jan 19, 2011 $40,200
Underwriter Commercial Mortgages Fortune Commercial Capital LLC Burtonsville, MD Mar 10, 2011 $40,200
Underwriter Commercial Mortgages Fortune Commercial Capital LLC North Potomac, MD Oct 01, 2010 $40,200
Underwriter Commercial Mortgages Fortune Commercial Capital, LLC Laurel, MD Oct 01, 2010 $40,200
Underwriter Commercial Mortgages Fortune Commercial Capital, LLC North Potomac, MD Oct 01, 2010 $40,200

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Top Skills for A Mortgage Underwriter

  1. Loan Applications
  2. Income Documentation
  3. Appraisals
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed loan applications, credit reports, income documents, titles and appraisals, determining eligibility and regulatory compliance.
  • Examined loan documentation that included reviewing appraisals, credit reports, title reports, and income documentation for accuracy and completeness.
  • Analyzed and reviewed Residential/Condo/Multi-Family appraisals when necessary; used sole discretion to determine if subject property value was valid.
  • Mortgage Underwriter maintains production, exceptional quality and up to date knowledge of underwriting guidelines to effectively underwrite loans for placement.
  • Review and analyze appraisal to insure liability and stability of property and inclusive of appraisal/property evaluation for compliance requirements.

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Top Mortgage Underwriter Employers

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Mortgage Underwriter Videos

Mortgage Career

The Role of a Mortgage Underwriter

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