What Does a Loan Officer Do?

Published on April 9, 2019 under First-Time Home Buyers

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When buying a home, a purchaser may wonder, what does a loan officer do?. Loan officers fulfill many critical roles and responsibilities. They are highly trained, credentialed and skilled individuals. The complexities of home buying can be stressful. A loan officer is there to smooth the way.

Loan Officer Qualifications and Responsibilities that support home buyers

  1. Expertise: Qualified loan officers are licensed with the required state and federal authorities and follow the strict regulations for the lending process. They put their expertise to work for their clients.
  2. Contact: As a point of contact between a home buyer and the lender, loan officers research and review a borrower's financial history. Their analysis determines whether applicants qualify for mortgages. By being the point of contact between parties such as the agent, underwriter, settlement attorney, etc., homebuyers are relieved of the stress caused by trying to keep up with multiple representatives tasked with different duties.
  3. Customization: Today's mortgages are not a one-size-fits-all home buying solution. A skilled loan officer will determine which mortgage products are a better fit for an applicant's personal and financial profile. A family is much more than just numbers on a balance sheet. There are many fine details that a loan officer will consider to help future home buyers make one of the most important decisions that have long-term effects on their happiness and financial security.
  4. Improvement: Applicants that have issues in their credit history will appreciate loan officers who go the extra mile. Although a loan officer cannot make these issues disappear, suggestions and advice can raise an applicant's chances for getting approved despite their existence. Even if an applicant is not approved, by following recommended steps laid out by a loan officer, odds improve for approval when applying for a mortgage the next time.
  5. Paperwork, Paperwork, and Paperwork: Applying for a mortgage is paperwork intensive. Completing the necessary documents is often accompanied with a variety of questions. A loan officer is there to help every step of the way, assuring that paperwork is filled out properly. This helps to avoid delays in processing a mortgage application.
  6. Passing It Off: Once application documents have been reviewed and determined to be in order by a loan officer, the paperwork is passed off to an underwriter. Underwriters make the initial decision about a home loan. If approved, the loan officer will then coordinate a smooth transition to settlement.

How to Choose a Loan Officer

Prospective home buyers may feel overwhelmed when it comes to selecting a loan officer. Once the field has been narrowed to a handful, here are some helpful questions to find the one right for you:

  • Do you offer down-payment assistance programs?
  • What first-time home buyer loan programs do you offer?
  • Are you an expert lender for our area?

These are just a few generic questions to ask in an interview. For prospective home buyers interested in particular loan programs, like USDA or VA, be sure to ask about it.

How to Decide on a Good Loan Officer

Interviewing potential loan officer candidates will narrow the field further. Before making a final decision, ask each candidate finalist to provide a cost estimate of the type of loans they would recommend. Understand that estimates will be prepared according to current interest rates that can fluctuate from day-to-day. For estimates to be fair and equitable, they should all be requested on the same day.

A loan officer's job is to crunch numbers, advise clients and streamline the entire process of applying for a mortgage. But they do so much more than just manage paperwork. As the go-between between other critical parties, like the underwriter, a loan officer also represents the applicant. They are the glue that connects everyone involved. It is important to select a loan officer that connects with who you are and the personality of your family. This enables them to guide applicants to the best lending solutions for a decision that is going to be with applicants for a lifetime. For amazing service throughout a process that can be overwhelming, look for a loan officer connected with mortgage lenders who have a reputation of maintaining standards that exceed customer expectations. Find a loan officer today that has your needs in mind.

Contact an Expert Loan Officer