Loans have the power to convert dreams, wants and desires into reality, be it the dream house or car, travel to favorite destinations or enrollment at prestigious university. Loan officer, credit officer, mortgage officer - titles may vary. But the job remains much the same - that of educating customers about loans and assisting in selection of the best loan appropriate for the situation.
Would you like to choose a profession, which involves helping people get money to translate dreams into reality and even overcome difficult situations? Read further ... And you will find information related to desired qualification, the job description, training, skills and traits to be a successful loan officer. Find out how to become a loan officer and what training is offered.
How to become a loan officer
The job prospects for loan officers are better for individuals with a bachelor's degree in marketing, finance, business or economics. Familiarity with computer application relevant to the job is also required. Prior experience in lending or banking and sales experience is preferred but not necessarily required. Those who have not completed college degree should possess several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training and/or vocational training.
Loan officer training
Online loan officer training programs equip prospective candidates with all information pertaining to actual lending and selling of loans. There are online mortgage loan officer training courses that are approved by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, which gives prospective candidates an edge. A loan officer has the choice to specialize in commercial lending, consumer or mortgage loans. A loan officer is trained to collect client information and assess his ability to repay a loan.
Licensing for loan officers differs from state to state. There are many courses that provide training for loan officers. Building up good client relationships and effective communication are essential for a successful loan officer. Loan officer training involves understanding all aspects of loan origination as well as completion of loan processing and underwriting. A loan officer must also be trained in marketing skills so as to generate business.
Knowledge: Economics and Accounting, mathematics, administrative and clerical procedures.
Soft skills: Ability to multi-task, active learning, service orientation, problem solving skills, exceptional people skills, result-oriented, self-motivated, leadership qualities, entrepreneurial spirit, assertive, high energy level are the soft skills which are just as important if not more important compared to prior work experience.
Loan officer jobs
Banks, financial institutions, savings institutions, credit unions, trust companies and mortgage brokerage firms employ loan officers. Loan counselors and officers who find employment in banks or credit unions do not require specific license but those who work in mortgage banks or brokerages have to obtain license as applicable to the place of employment. After gaining substantial years of experience, one can successfully work from home.
The remuneration for those who work as full-time employees of an organization consists of a monthly salary coupled with incentives or commissions that are performance related. Commercial loan officers or mortgage loan officers who work at home earn remuneration for their services in the form of commissions only.
Employment opportunities for loan officers are expected to grow more slowly than average through 2014. The fluctuations in the economy have a direct impact on the demand for competent loan officers. When the interest rates drop, there is a surge for loans as people are willing to borrow money. Whereas, when the interest rates go up, the willingness to borrow money is significantly affected.
Loans are taken for varied reasons and purposes. Individuals or business enterprises in need of financial assistance for a particular period of time seek money from lending institutions. The loan officer helps potential customers apply for loans. Proactively sourcing potential customers or converting leads into active customers, the process starts with understanding client's need or purpose of the loan. Subsequently, the loan officer collects client information that helps to determine appropriate type of loan, probable repayment period and other related matters.
It is the responsibility of the loan officer to clarify any doubts the client may have. Gathering information pertaining to the prospective client can be completed over the phone or at an office. Duly completed application forms will be submitted to the credit analyst for verification and recommendation of loan. The work continues till the client's application for loan is approved. In case, the loan is denied, the loan officer conveys the same to the customer.
Loan counselors are also called loan collection officers. The job of loan counselors is almost the same as that of loan officers. Delinquent customers are those who default repayment of loan. In such cases, the loan counselor contacts the borrowers and structures a suitable method of repayment to avoid default on the loan. If the repayment plan doesn't work out, loan counselor arranges for maintenance and liquidation of delinquent property. The lending institution uses the collateral to offset pending loan amount.
Mortgage loan officer
The primary responsibility of a mortgage loan officer is to assist clients, both home buyers and commercial enterprises who want to buy real estate or get new loans for existing own property. A competent mortgage loan officer discusses in detail the various options and helps choose the optimal mortgage product to fit client's specific needs.
Those who choose the mortgage industry initially start the career as a Federal Housing Administration. Mortgage banking is strictly regulated by a number of federal laws and enforcement agencies, apart from 45 state laws or licensing boards. Hence, prospective mortgage loan officer needs to check with proposed state of employment regarding licensing requirements.
Exposure to aspects of governmental licensing and regulatory compliance requirements will help develop skills necessary to originate, underwrite process and close loans on housing properties. A job that involves a lot of travel, typically,
the work involves converting leads to profitable loans; provide advice after understanding client needs, taking applications, conducting preliminary underwriting reviews, submitting loan applications to processing and underwriting for approval. Further, mortgage loan officer will conduct follows-up to ensure that documents required for processing, underwriting, and closing are in compliance with company procedures.