Mortgage loan officers, also known as credit officers, loan officers, and mortgage officers, are responsible for examining, evaluating, and processing credit and loan applications. They are typically employed by financial institutions like banks, credit unions, trust companies, and the like.
A mortgage loan officer is usually responsible for interviewing the applicants for a mortgage loan – the officer will also examine and evaluate the applicant’s financial status, credit, and references, and determine whether s/he has the ability to pay the loan back. The officer will then submit the loan application to the management of the organization s/he works for, with a recommendation regarding the approval or rejection of the application.
In order to become a mortgage loan officer, an applicant needs to have all the qualities and qualifications that employers look for. A basic job at entry level may require a Secondary School Diploma (SSD) along with extensive general experience in banking and the financial sector. A higher level post may require a college diploma or a university degree related to economics or commerce. A Diploma of Collegial Studies (DEC), along with an Attestation of Collegial Studies (AEC) in insurance and financial services consulting would be extremely appropriate.
In addition to educational requirements, a loan or credit training program also needs to be completed. These generally last six to twelve months, and can either be offered by the institution where you are employed, or by financial institutions and associations such as the Institute of Canadian Bankers which offers professional development courses.
As you accumulate experience, promotion is bound to be on the cards, and mortgage officers can also be promoted to credit and loan management positions. In addition, it is also essential to network actively with real estate agents – establishing a good relationship with realtors or real estate agencies will bring more business and clients your way, and agents may refer you every time they come across homebuyers who need a loan.
In addition to the educational qualifications and experience, employers look for candidates who have sufficient know-how about the financial instruments they offer. Applicants need to be familiar with basic accounting and internal lending procedures. In addition, they need to have the talent of an effective salesperson in order to deal with clients – this includes the ability to listen, negotiate, analyze problems and resolve them, and know the ins and outs of client service. It is also a major plus if a candidate is bilingual.
The job market for mortgage loan officers in Canada is looking up, and the financial and real estate sector recoup losses and get back on their feet. Furthermore, with banking tools for loans becoming more and more complex, the need for financial advice has risen dramatically, and the number of mortgage loan officers in the market is expected to increase steadily overtime.