What does a Loan Officer do?
Loan officers meet with applicants who wish to borrow and evaluate, recommend, or approve the applications for businesses and people. They answer questions and help guide customers through the applications process.
They market the service and products of their lending institution and contact people or companies to solicit new business. Most work in office buildings such as at banks, financial institutions, and mortgage companies.
How to Become a Loan Officer
In most instances, a loan officer requires a bachelor’s degree in finance or business. They need to understand general business accounting and read financial statements in order to properly analyze the finances of those applying for credit.
In some cases, it may be possible to enter this job without a bachelor’s degree if one has a background in a related work experience like banking, sales, or customer service. On-the-job training is usually given once he or she has been employed and usually includes a combination of informal training and formal, company-sponsored training.
A mortgage loan officer requires a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license. To acquire this license one must complete 20 hours of coursework, pass the exam, and pass credit and background checks. Many banking associations offer courses, including the American Bankers Association and The Mortgage Bankers Association for certification which gives the candidate’s an advantage for a job because of the demonstration of expertise and dedication.
Job Description of a Loan Officer
Loan officers have the duties of meeting with loan applicants and collecting and verifying all required financial documents. They determine if the person or business is qualified for a loan and review loan agreements to ensure they are in compliance with state and federal regulations. They actively market the product and services of their institution to solicit new business by contacting people and businesses. He or she has the job of helping the customer through the application process and entering information into a software program to determine the recommendation for a loan.
There are a few types of loan officers that specialize in certain areas such as commercial loan officers, consumer loan officers, mortgage loan officers, loan collection officers, and loan underwriters. Loan officers should have skills in decision-making and be detail-oriented. They should carry interpersonal skills and have initiative ability.