Loan Officer Jobs
Using a process called underwriting, loan officers determine whether or not people or businesses qualify for loans. Some loan officers perform manual underwriting, while others rely on specialized software to make the decisions for them.
There are many different types of loan officers, each with their own set of responsibilities and specializations. Some of the most common are mortgage loan officers, consumer loan officers, and commercial loan officers.
Mortgage loan officers work on loans for commercial and residential properties. Successful mortgage loan officers develop relationships with real estate companies and other businesses who can refer them a steady stream of applicants.
Consumer loan officers work with consumers who want to take out simple loans for cars, tuition, and other items. The underwriting process is normally automated for small loans, but they have to spend a lot of time walking applicants through the application and borrowing process.
Commercial loan officers make loans to businesses who need money to buy new equipment, open a new location, or otherwise grow their business. Because each business is so different and many have complex financial systems, underwriting is almost never automated while working with commercial loans.
How to Become a Loan Officer
Most loan officers are trained on the job, and no formal education is required beyond high school for many entry-level positions. Others, (such as commercial loan officers) need to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a related field.
If you want to be a mortgage loan officer, you will have to get a Mortgage Loan Originator license. Licensing involves coursework, an exam, and background checks. If you have a criminal background or bad credit score, you will have a very hard time getting a job in this profession.
For entry level loan officers, a background in customer service, sales, or banking is desirable.
There are numerous certifications available for loan officers. Most employers do not require certifications, but certifications can help you stand out in a competitive job market and may be worth pursuing. To learn more, visit the American Bankers Association website.
There are currently 289,400 loan officers in the United States, with 11,520 new loan officer job openings created each year.
Loan Officer jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Loan Officer Salaries
Loan Officer salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most loan officers make between $41,900 – $81,800 per year, or $20.14 – $39.35 per hour.