What is a loan officer?
A loan officer is a representative of a bank, credit union or other financial institution that assists borrowers in the application process. Loan officers are often referred to as mortgage loan officers because it is the most complex and costly type of loan faced by most consumers. However, most loan officers assist consumers and small business owners with a wide variety of secured and unsecured loans.
Loan officers must have a thorough knowledge of loan products, banking rules and regulations, and the documentation required to obtain a loan.
Operation of a loan officer
The loan officer is the direct point of contact for most borrowers who apply for a loan from a financial institution. The whole process can be managed on the Internet, but most consumers probably prefer a knowledgeable man on the other side of what is, after all, an expensive and complex transaction. In fact, one of the reasons why banks continue to have so many branches is that they have to put loan officers face to face with potential borrowers.
Key points to remember
- A loan officer helps consumers and business people to choose and apply for a loan product.
- This person is the main contact with the financial institution when the loan is closed.
- Most loans require a stack of documents and mortgages are the worst.
Loan officers are familiar with all the different types of loans offered by the financial institutions they represent and can advise borrowers on the best options for their needs.
They can also advise the potential borrower on the type of loan they could get. The loan officer is responsible for the initial screening process and is unlikely to make a request from someone who does not meet the qualifications of the lender.
The application process
Once a borrower and a loan officer agree to proceed, the loan officer helps prepare the application. The loan officer then forwards the request to the policyholder of the institution, who assesses the creditworthiness of the potential borrower.
If the loan is approved, the loan officer is responsible for preparing the appropriate documentation and loan closing documents.
The loan officer is responsible for collecting appropriate closing documents for a mortgage or other loan.
Some loans require more work than others. Secured loans generally require more documents than unsecured loans. Mortgages require a heavy stack of documents due to the many federal, state and local regulations that affect them. Reverse mortgages and mortgage refinancings require the borrower to receive a HUD-1 settlement statement before closing.
Some loan officers are remunerated by commissions. This commission is a prepaid charge and is often negotiable. Commission fees are generally the highest for mortgage loans.