By Nsim Team
If you want to become a loan officer, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a loan officer:
• You have an interest in helping people and businesses achieve their financial goals
• You are able to make sense of financial statements and data
• You enjoy meeting new people and working directly with customers
• You have business acumen and excellent communication skills
• You are skilled in balancing the needs of clients with the needs of an organization
• You have a proven ability to reach sales goals
Loan officers are employees of organizations that offer loans and/or credit services to individuals (consumer credit) and businesses (commercial credit).
They are responsible for the evaluation and authorization of loans and various forms of credit; they use a process called underwriting to assess whether applicants qualify for loans based on the information provided in their application.
In addition to qualifying applicants for loans or credit, a large part of a loan officer’s job involves customer service and sales activities. Loan officers spend a significant amount of their time guiding customers through the application process and marketing the products and services of their lending institution in order to generate new business.
Loan officers may specialize in mortgage, consumer or commercial loans, and within these areas of specialization, they may further specialize in loan underwriting or loan collection.
You typically need an undergraduate degree in an area such as accounting, economics, business or finance if you want to become a loan officer.
A degree in one of these fields will demonstrate to employers that you have a good knowledge base in the field, including an understanding of how to read financial statements and data.
You may be able to get a job as a loan officer without a degree, provided you have a sufficient amount of related work experience, such as in sales, customer service, or banking.
In order to become effective in a career as a loan officer, you need to posses a certain set of skills. These skills will allow you to perform your job duties with competence, and employers will likely want to see evidence of them on your resume when you apply for loan officer jobs.
• Strong prospecting ability and a proven track record of working successfully to achieve sales results
• Excellent organizational and time management skills
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Working knowledge of financial statement analysis and software programs
• Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook
• Customer relationship management skills
• Accuracy and attention to detail when working with numbers
• Able to speak a second language that is common in the area of service
Loan officers are employed on a part-time, full-time and contractual basis by many different types of organizations, including:
• Commercial banks (regional, national and international)
• Credit unions
• Mortgage companies
• Private lending companies
• Government departments
• Other financial institutions