A loan specialist is the person who processes personal and commercial loans. She usually works for a bank or lending institution, although some businesses, such as real estate firms and automotive dealerships, have in-house loan specialists to assist customers. The loan process can be long and complicated, and a loan specialist strives to simplify the steps and possibly shorten the wait to learn if the funds are approved or denied.
Some loan specialists are expected to solicit loan applications from existing customers or exercise cold calling. The latter sales approach offers loans to consumers considered good prospects based on demographics or borrowing histories. If sales are required from the specialist, she must be prepared to make formal sales presentations. These often include graphs, charts and brochures describing the process, qualification procedures and loan options, such as balloon payments and variable as well as fixed interest rates.
Most specialists, however, are solely focused on loan processing. People in this position usually help with every aspect of lending, from filling out the preliminary paperwork to having all involved parties sign off on the closing documents. In the interim, she normally is available to advise on procedures and recommend options for qualifying or improving credit ratings.
Excellent communication skills can be helpful to succeed as a loan specialist. Clear and concise interactions with customers, lenders and credit reporting agencies are a large part of the job. Creative negotiation abilities are also highly-valued attributes of a loan specialist.
Providing exemplary and empathetic customer service can help ensure the specialist will be successful in her efforts. Even if the loan process is initially unsuccessful, she may be the person the customer chooses to help out in future attempts to borrow money. If she builds trust and instills confidence in her abilities, her clients are also likely to refer people to her for their lending needs.
Besides being adept at communications and customer service, the specialist is often required to have a good eye for detail and be organized. She reviews many documents for accuracy and is usually juggling several loan applications at once. Attention to detail and good organization helps avoid delays in the loan process, which can result in a customer missing out on a good interest rate or even losing a bid on property.
A loan specialist is not required to have more than a high school diploma, although coursework in accounting, loan processing, customer relations or lending practices is desirable. Background in a banking or lending environment is also considered an asset for those seeking a position in this field.