How to Become a Loan Officer

If you’re interested in finance and figures, and have excellent interpersonal skills then you might like to become a loan officer.

A loan officer collects information from an individual or a company in regards to a loan, and then analyzes their financial data to determine whether the bank or financial institution they work for should give them the loan.

Many of the loans are for property, but a loan officer could also be responsible for personal loans or car loans.

Banks also lend money for new businesses or large-scale development projects, such as building shopping malls or developing new estates.

The role of a loan officer is three-fold.

First of all, they must look for new business and convince the individual or company to give their business to the bank they represent.

They must then look after the administrative side of a loan, and fill out necessary documentation.

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They then move on to the financial side of their role, looking at things like interest rates and other risk factors.

Education Requirements to Become a Loan Officer

To become a loan officer the minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or GED.

You could then be trained on the job to learn the financial and administrative skills required for the role, usually over a period of three to six months.

This would allow you to work with customers looking for home loans, or other personal loans.

If you are interested in becoming a commercial loan officer then you will need a college education.

An ideal qualification would be a four year bachelors degree with a major in finance or accounting.

You would also receive some on the job training.

Many loan officers have previous experience in banking, and they may have worked as a banker, or in customer service and then have been promoted to the role of loan officer.

Loan Officer Job Description

A loan officer takes a clients application for a loan for a bank, and then does the necessary processing to determine whether or not the bank should lend the applicant the funds.

When you become a loan officer, your role will begin with meeting with your potential clients and speaking about their requirements.

You might like to suggest potential products with them, and also explain the loan application process.

You might also talk about things like loan fees and interest rates.

You’ll the fill out some paperwork, and take personal details from your clients.

Employment information and income details, for instance.

After your meeting you’ll process the loan.

Often this involves using computer underwriting systems which will determine the amount of risk involved for the bank in lending the money.

Some, but not all, roles as a loan officer require a certain amount of salesmanship.

While some roles are simply about writing business in others are more of a sales role.

Good communication skills and confidence will prove essential in these kind of roles.

Here are some of the tasks of a loan officer:

  • Scheduling appointments with clients
  • Looking for new clients
  • Meeting with clients
  • Discussing financial requirements
  • Suggesting loan products
  • Completing forms and paperwork
  • Analyzing risk
  • Preparing loan contracts

Loan Officer Salary and Career Path

When you become a loan officer you will spend the first few months competing some on the job training.

Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be able to work independently.

In some situations you will need to find your own clients, more often than not they will come to you.

The median salary for a loan officer is $54,000 a year.

The top 10% of earners make over $106,000 a year.

Some loan officers are paid a salary, particularly in big banks.

Other work on commission, or on a bonus system, where their wage depends on the amount of business they write.

Some loan officer go on to supervise other staff or become department heads.

Other become bank managers.

Some similar roles to that of loan officer include:

If you’re interested in finance and also want to work in a role where your regularly interact with people, then you might like to become a loan officer.

There is secure employment and a good salary available, as well as the opportunity to earn a nice bonus in some roles.

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