How To Become A Loan Officer

What Is A Loan Officer?
Loan officers are professionals who evaluate and recommend companies and individuals for loan approvals. Some of the duties of loan officers include meeting with clients who are seeking a loan, and gathering information to ascertain the exact needs of the individual or company. Loan officers will also try to evaluate the ability of the loan-taker to repay the amount they are requesting. Furthermore, the officer may be called upon to explain the terms of various loans, and offer advice to the applicant on which of the options would be most feasible for them. If you want to learn how to become a loan officer, our quick guide will help you understand the skills and training involved, and will help you to decide if this is the right career track for you.

Becoming A Loan Officer: Training Involved
To become a loan officer, you need to have a valid high school diploma and at least a bachelor's degree. The latter is an absolute requirement for professionals who wish to work as commercial loan officers; these individuals must have an undergraduate degree in finance, business, or related field. Furthermore, being able to read and interpret financial statements is also highly important. Most companies have on-the-job training programs which help new employees learn the ropes and understand the skills involved in becoming loan officers. Included in this training is exposure to underwriting software which will help officers effectively evaluate the applicant's loan status.

While certification is not necessary, it has a positive impact on your employment opportunities. The American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association are two organizations that offer training programs and certificates for loan officers. These will add credibility to your resume and give you added practical experience.

How To Become A Loan Officer: Skills
Three important skills are required to become a loan officer, the first of which is initiative. All loan officers must be able to seek out clients proactively and promote their lending institution much like a salesperson. They must also be able to thoroughly identify the needs of their client and direct them towards the right option based on their circumstances.

Good interpersonal skills are a hallmark of a good loan officer. You must be able to help applicants through their paperwork and be available to answer their questions professionally and comprehensively. Lastly, loan officers must be good decision makers. The ability to analyze applicant information and decide whether they truly deserve the loan or not may be quite difficult, but this skill takes time to develop.

Job Outlook And Pay
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this industry is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is above-par performance. With the economy moving out of a recession, more individuals and companies will look towards loans to recover their profitability or lifestyles. Loan officers are the gatekeepers for this process. Median pay in the field was reported as $56,490 in May 2010, with top ten percent earning upwards of $100,000.

Q:How long does it take to become a loan officer?

A:You must have a 4 year bachelor degree in finance or a related field to become a loan officer. To jump start your career, it is recommended that you attend corporate events and develop strong contacts, and market yourself. You can also seek employment at large financial institutions. There is no exact time duration.

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