Loan officers review, advise and approve loan applications for people and businesses. They meet with applicants to evaluate and verify their financial information, answer questions and guide them through the application process.
Loan officers, particularly commercial loan officers, contact businesses to see if they need a loan for buying supplies or expanding operations. These professionals suggest different loan types to applicants and review agreements to ensure they meet with regulations.
Duties and responsibilities
- Review, advise and approve loan applications
- Meet with applicants to evaluate and verify financial information
- Answer questions and guide applicants through loan process
- Contact companies and recommend appropriate loans
- Suggest different types of loans to clients
- Review agreements to ensure they meet with federal and state regulations
- Approve or disapprove loan applications
- Use underwriting software to create loan recommendations
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Standard business hours
Most loan officers, particularly consumer loan officers, work in offices. Mortgage and commercial loan officers are also office-based, but they spend a lot of their time travelling to meet potential clients at their homes or place of business.
Loan officers meet people from all walks of life and mainly conduct business face to face or by using computer and telecommunication technology.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Bachelor’s degree in business or finance
Loan officers require a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Finance (BF) degree in order to be considered for the role. They must have the ability to understand general business accounting, such as reading financial statements. Sometimes, a bachelor’s degree is not required if the candidate demonstrates prior experience in sales, customer service or banking.
Training is generally provided on the job. Licensing is not required, except for the case of mortgage loan officers, who must obtain a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) licence. To improve hiring chances, some aspiring loan officers undergo courses, training programmes or certifications from institutions such as the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
Junior loan officers have the opportunity to advance to the position of senior loan officers after gaining enough experience within a company. Some loan officers might end up changing organisations altogether for higher salaries or better commission. With enough experience, qualifications and knowledge, loan officers can open their own establishments.