What does a loan officer do? Whether you’re intrigued by a possible career path or an aspiring borrower interested in developing a better understanding of the people that you’ll be working with to secure a loan, it’s a fair question.
What Does a Loan Officer Do?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 300,000 loan officers working in places like banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and related financial institutions. What does the typical day of a loan officer look like? How does their job differ from those with similar occupations like underwriters and mortgage brokers? Here’s what you need to know.
A Loan Officer’s Duties
A loan officer must juggle several responsibilities, including customer service, sales, and office work. As Investopedia explains, the following tasks are typically included among their job duties:
- Meeting with potential applicants: While people are doing more and more business online these days, many people prefer to work with a human being when conducting a sizeable financial transaction. Loan officers serve as that human point of contact as they meet with borrowers.
- Advising potential applicants: When meeting with applicants, loan officers do more than offer friendly greetings and fill out forms. Well-versed in the ins and outs of the financial products that their organization offers, they discuss the details of the aspiring borrower’s situation and their goals, educate them about the various loan programs available, and point out which programs might be appropriate for their situation.
- Guiding people through the application processes: Applying for a loan requires documentation. A loan officer guides would-be borrowers through the application process, smoothing their path and helping them to move more confidently through the process.
- Reviewing loan applications: When originating a loan, loan officers carefully review the application. They verify the information and check that everything required is included in the application before passing it along to the underwriters. If the loan is approved, the loan officer is tasked with researching and presenting the appropriate documentation and closing documents needed for compliance purposes.
- Serving as the personal connection throughout the process: While the loan officer won’t be the only employee of the lender to review the loan application, they are generally the one charged with serving as the personal connection between the borrower and the organization. Whether it’s a request for clarification from the underwriting department or a question from the borrower about the status of their loan application, the loan officer is generally the one who communicates with the borrower.
Vital Skills for Loan Officers
As U.S. News and World Reports indicates, working effectively as a loan officer requires certain skills. For starters, loan officers need excellent interpersonal skills. After all, borrowing a large sum of money can be an exciting and stressful experience. Loan officers need to be able to communicate with borrowers clearly and confidently as they work to educate them about their options, gather the necessary information, and guide them through the loan process. Strong computer skills and time-management skills are also helpful in dealing with the massive amount of paperwork that loan officers handle. In addition, loan officers need to embrace the concept of continuing education because they must stay abreast of happenings in the financial world and any changes in the products offered by their employer.
Loan Officers, Mortgage Brokers, and Underwriters
What does a loan officer do? When exploring this question, it can be helpful to compare the loan officer’s job with that of other financial professionals. How does a loan officer compare with a mortgage broker? While loan officers work for a specific lender and serve as the borrower’s guide throughout the entire loan process, mortgage brokers are more independent. As the Home Buying Institute explains, brokers often work with multiple lenders, so they may be able to offer borrowers access to a wider range of loan products. However, once they’ve matched a borrower with a lender, their job is done, and they disappear from the process.
How does a loan officer compare to an underwriter? Like the loan officer, the mortgage underwriter reviews all the documentation and checks that the relevant qualification criteria have been met. After all, it is their job to verify that the loan is sound. However, underwriters typically work behind the scenes. They leave interaction with the public to loan officers.
If you’d like to learn more about what a loan officer does, why not go straight to the source? Contact PrimeLending today. Our team of home loan experts focuses on making every step of the home-buying process simple, transparent, and rewarding. With our expertise and commitment to clear and timely communication, we can guide you through the mortgage process from application to closing. To get started, please call 417-616-0777 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!