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Loan officers, also called mortgage loan originators, meet with potential borrowers. Through evaluation, they decide if the borrowers should be approved for a loan. Approval is completed through a process called underwriting, which involves collecting and verifying financial documents to determine if the loan should be given and if the individual will be able to pay back the loan.
Some of the responsibilities associated with this position are as follows:
• Meet with potential loan applicants to gather relevant information for the underwriting process
• Ensure applicants understand the types of loans available, as well as the terms involved with each type
• Verify an applicant’s financial information, such as income level and credit rating
• Based on the gathered financial information, decide if an applicant should get a loan
• Approve loans for applicants or refer them to a superior for a final decision
While loan officers may be called on for appointments, they must also make sales calls through leads from their broker or bank. The main goal is to originate loans and also help in processing the loan.
By 2022, employment in this profession is expected to grow 8 percent. While this is average compared to other occupations, the number may change depending on the growth of the economy as well as interest rates. As the economy improves, banks and lending institutions will begin to offer more loans to businesses and individuals.
Some of the types of loan officers include loan underwriters, mortgage loan officers, loan collection officers, commercial loan officers and consumer loan officers. Each type of officer specializes in a certain area; for example, a mortgage loan officer specializes in real estate loans.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a loan officer is $59,820. Salary can be as high as $119,710. Salary may differ based on the field a loan officer is in, as well as their pay type, because the majority of loan officers work off commission. If the loan officers make the right type of connections, and are attentive and successful throughout the entire loan process, their commission and their total income may be higher than their peers.
Most employers require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in business. Experience in sales, banking, lending or customer service may also help an applicant stand out from other potential hires. Individuals should understand how to read financial statements, as well as have a basic grasp of general business accounting. After being accepted into a position, loan officers receive on-the-job training to learn the company software and other training necessary to complete their daily tasks.
When working in real estate, a mortgage loan officer must have a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license. This license is a federal requirement and must be approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS).
Other types of certification are also available through the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association.