Have you ever wondered – what’s the role of a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO)?
Even during these uncertain times, mortgage lending can be a very exciting and lucrative career. Even as we practice social distancing and move to a virtual work environment, it can be a fulfilling way to earn a living and help others at the same time!
A mortgage loan officer (also known as mortgage loan originator) specializes in loans used to buy real estate, particularly home mortgages, as well as home-improvement loans and refinancing. A home purchase or refinance is one of the biggest financial considerations most people ever make, and as a mortgage loan originator, the job is to educate and guide borrowers through the process from application to closing.
What makes someone a successful Mortgage Loan Officer?
Mortgage Loan officers work at banks, credit unions, savings institutions, and mortgage companies. They are in contact with other professionals daily, such as real estate brokers, property appraisers, attorneys, and escrow closers to monitor the progress of loans – from start to finish. Mortgage loan officers also stay in close touch with borrowers to keep them informed of their loan’s progress. A combination of skills is needed in day-to-day mortgage loan originator activities.
Key skills that contribute to a mortgage loan officer’s success:
- A love of working with people
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong analytical skills
- Sales ability
- Ability to problem solve
- Excellent attention to detail
- Industry knowledge through annual continuing education
What are the Specific Job Functions of Mortgage Loan Officers?
MLOs spend much of their time in the field and communicating with their office and clients via phone and email.
A typical workweek may be more than 40 hours and include evenings and/or weekends. This can be especially common when interest rates are low, and the housing market is brisk.
Mortgage loan officers work with underwriters, who ultimately decide whether to approve a loan for a borrower or not. Mortgage loan officers also evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness for a loan by considering factors such as: credit history, employment and debt-to-income ratio.
Job-Specific Functions of an MLO include:
- Interviewing loan applicants and explaining loan terms and conditions
- Analyzing the applicant’s financial status, including verifying credit history, income, and the property to determine whether the applicant can repay the loan
- Ordering appraisals, credit reports and reference checks
- Preparing loan documentation in accordance with financial institution standards
- Providing status reports to bank management on residential loan production
- Coordinating loan closings with buyers, sellers, real estate agents and escrow officers
- Resolving customer complaints
To learn more about the mortgage loan originator profession, explore the following professional development courses and career resources: