May 2nd, 2017 2:00 PM by Dana Bain
There are a lot of people involved in helping a borrower successfully secure a mortgage, but one of the most important individuals in the process is the mortgage loan originator. What exactly does a mortgage loan originator do? In this post, we’ll explore the duties of a mortgage loan originator and explain what qualities a good mortgage loan originator should have.
In simplest terms, a mortgage loan originator (aka mortgage loan officer, loan officer, LO, etc.) is typically an individual who works with a borrower to complete a mortgage transaction. The mortgage loan originator/officer is usually the borrower’s main point of contact throughout the entire home loan process.
To delve a little deeper into what a mortgage loan originator does, you can take a peek at this sample job description from popular job searching site, Monster.com:
“Mortgage Loan Officer Job Responsibilities:
Increases mortgage loan portfolio by developing business contracts; attracting mortgage customers; completing mortgage loan processing and closing; supervising staff.”
Keep in mind that the example above is just a sample, and depending on the company, certain duties may not be required. Likewise, there may be duties not listed in the example above that an LO would be responsible for.
A few common duties performed by mortgage loan originators include but are not limited to…
Interviewing mortgage applicants Analyzing and screening preliminary loan requests Gather background financial information Submit loan applications for processing Monitor loan progress from application to closing
Aside from simply being able to complete the necessary tasks associated with processing a mortgage, a good mortgage loan originator should posses certain characteristics to help them and their borrowers succeed.
First and foremost, LOs should maintain industry standards of honesty and integrity. Even with all the recent improvements in borrower protection, it can still be possible to work with an unscrupulous lender. The best way to ensure you’re working with a good LO is to do a little homework on him/her or their company. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, ask for references from previous clients, read online testimonials and most importantly, go with your instinct. Once you meet with the LO, you will most likely be able to get a sense of their work ethic and determine whether or not you will work compatibly together.
Loan originators should also be good with dealing with the public, as they have to work one-on-one with all sorts of borrowers from all walks of life. In addition, good LOs will want to develop new business opportunities whenever possible, so they will actively work to develop a rapport with real estate agents, property appraisers and attorneys. The more an LO does this, the more their reputation grows.
At Premiere Morgage, we’ve spent close to 21 years developing a reputation as a leader in residential mortgage lending. Our certified loan officers are some of the best in the industry. If you’d like to learn more about our company and our selection of loan products, feel free to reach out to us today. Simply call toll-free at 978-422-2311 or send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are steps you can take to become a loan officer.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Although loan officers need at least a high school diploma, advanced positions such as commercial loan officers will require a bachelor's degree in economics, finance, business or other related fields. Pursuing a degree in one of these fields can prepare a commercial loan officer for analyzing the finances of a business, reading financial statements and understanding principles of business accounting. Coursework for these programs typically includes accounting, mathematics, finance, economic statistics and business statistics.
Since loan officers must be able to clearly answer any questions customers may have and guide them through the loan application process, excellent interpersonal and communication skills are needed to be successful in this position. While in school, you can take advantage of courses in communications, public speaking and psychology.
Step 2: Gain the Necessary Work Experience
For many employers hiring loan officers, previous experience is highly preferred. This is especially true for individuals who do not have a bachelor's degree and are seeking employment out of high school. Aspiring loan officers can establish themselves in the field by seeking employment in a variety of settings, including customer service, banking, and sales.
Step 3: Complete On-The-Job-Training
Participating in on-the-job-training is a requirement for individuals, regardless of what degree they hold. The type of training received can vary depending on the work setting and may include a combination of informal training and company-sponsored training. Some training with specific software may be included as well, particularly for those involved in underwriting.
Step 4: Obtain Licensure
All mortgage loan officers must be licensed as a mortgage loan originator (MLO). This process involves completing 20 hours of required coursework, passing an exam and a credit and background check. The MLO exam contains a national component and a state component that is unique for each state.
Step 5: Become Certified
Although certification is not a requirement for loan officers, obtaining certification may improve employment prospects. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and American Bankers Association (ABA) offer opportunities for becoming certified. A few certifications offered by the ABA include certified financial marketing professional (CFMP), certified lender business banker (CLBB), and certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA). The MBA offers a variety of certification options for mortgage bankers, including commercial, residential, executive and master. These credentials require a minimum amount of work experience, successful completion of an examination, and the completion of continuing education courses.
Completion of continuing education credits is needed to maintain an MLO license, which must be renewed on a yearly basis. This typically requires the completion of eight hours of continuing education courses each year. Other requirements may vary by state. Certifications offered by the ABA are usually renewed every three years. The renewal process will vary and may include completing continuing education credits, paying an annual fee, and adhering to the Institute of Certified Bankers' Professional Code of Ethics. CMB designations offered by the MBA must be renewed every two years. Earning five points of continuing education activities is required to maintain certification. This can be accomplished by completing coursework offered by the MBA, participating on committees, or attending conferences and conventions.