Loan officers most frequently work in financial institutions such as banks and lending institutions. Their primary task is to determine whether or not loan applicants are eligible for loans by evaluating their financial backgrounds. They should possess excellent communication skills and a good degree of patience, as they will often be required to explain complex principles to loan applicants who have little or no experience in the process.
A loan officer might specialize in a certain type of loan commercial, consumer, or mortgage, for example. Once a loan officer is satisfied that the applicant is a good risk, he submits for the loan for final approval.
Although some entry-level loan officer positions can be obtained with just a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, the standard requirement is usually a bachelor’s degree in finance or business administration. Many employers prefer to employ loan officers who possess a background in property law, as the position of mortgage loan officer involves mortgaging property.
The occupation of loan officer can prove complicated and challenging. Beyond the intellectual skills, education and training in the discipline, the loan officer needs to be capable of developing good working relationships with a number of other people. The loan officer works to education clients in the following areas:
In addition to these client consultations, the job duties of a loan officer typically involve interviewing applicants, reviewing their applications and determining the value of mortgages or other assets. In some cases, a loan officer may also consult with an underwriter concerning the loan. Once a loan officer is satisfied with the details, the next step is to pass the application to a credit analyst.
Individuals in possession of a bachelor’s degree, and those with banking, lending, or sales experience are considered to have the best prospects for employment as loan officers. Figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the median annual salary for loan officers is around $55,830.
Even in the face of decreased employment in this occupation, this median salary is expected to rise by as much as 10 percent over the coming years, as the tasks assumed by loan officers become more complex and require a higher level of education and training.