Everyone knows you need a mortgage to purchase a new home or refinance an existing one, but most people don’t put a lot of thought into the loan officer they choose. This might even be the first time you have heard of a loan officer.
Like every other profession, loan officers have specific skills. There are many mortgages out there and various borrowers with different mortgage needs, so choosing the right loan officer to match you with the right mortgage is necessary as soon as you begin the home-buying process.
If you have been looking for information about finding a loan officer, this blog post is for you!
What Qualities Do You Want in a Loan Officer?
A loan officer works for a bank or mortgage lender to help homebuyers apply for a loan after an assessment of their financial situation. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to obtaining a mortgage. That’s why we have loan officers who can select the best type of loan for your goals, needs, and lifestyle.
Here are some of the qualities to identify in a loan officer:
Experience in the Field
Like any other job, your loan officer's experience will indicate their level of skill. When searching for an officer, don’t hesitate to ask about their experience. You should also look into their company, as different mortgage companies may offer different mortgage types.
You might also consider getting the loan officer’s Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) number and looking it up to discover any complaints made against them.
Experience with Various Types of Mortgages
With the number of mortgages available, you want to ensure that your loan officer has experience with the type of loan you need, such as conforming, government, jumbo, or refinancing loans.
If you aren’t sure exactly what type of loan best suits you, the loan officer should have experience working with borrowers in similar financial situations.
Fast Processing Time
Getting mortgage approval on time can be a major factor in whether you purchase a house before other interested parties. Processing time doesn’t typically fall on the loan officer, but rather on the type of loan. For example, a jumbo loan requires a second underwriter, meaning the processing time is often more than 30 days. Be sure to ask your loan officer upfront about processing times for each loan.
Proficient Financial Evaluation
Your financial documentation is the most crucial piece of information when receiving approval for a loan. Your loan officer must properly evaluate your tax return and other necessary documentation. Any minor mistakes could result in the denial of a loan.
Technical Experience with Automation Softwares
Modern loan officers need to be experts with complex programs that optimize the process, such as loan origination systems. This allows them to dedicate more time to meet your goals.
Strong Customer Service and Communication Skills
Loan officers don't just work with clients—they also work with realtors, builders, title companies, appraisal companies, and processing, underwriting, and closing departments, so they must have excellent customer service and communication skills.
How to Find a Loan Officer
Now that you know which qualities to look for in a loan officer, it’s time to find one.
Although it isn’t necessary to partner with a local lender, there are many benefits in partnering with someone who has a strong lay of the land:
A Personalized Experience
Being able to meet face to face with your loan officer can provide reassurance that they are just around the corner. Also, if the lender is located in your town, you have a better opportunity of hearing about someone’s experience working with them firsthand.
Another advantage of working with a local loan officer is their awareness of local market conditions. A local lender knows about the demographics and history of the area, as well as economic trends that may make it easier to get a loan compared to a national lender.
Strong Relationships with Real Estate Agents
Your real estate agent and your loan officer work together to help you find the right home. If you find the right home with your real estate agent, they will then communicate with your loan officer to get approval quickly.
Find a Loan Officer at radius
You need a loan officer with strong communication and customer service skills, technical expertise, and local awareness, and you can find that at radius. radius is a customer-obsessed lender with Loan Officers who will match you with the best loan for your situation.