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What Skills are Needed for Loan Officer Jobs?

By R. Anacan
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Working in the mortgage industry can be a profitable and rewarding career choice. Loan officers are responsible for originating residential and business mortgage loans. Loan officer jobs require a diverse set of skills; to succeed in the mortgage industry it is important for a loan officer to not merely be competent in these skills, but to excel in them.

Loan officer jobs are sales positions; therefore the successful loan officer is one who is very comfortable and proficient with all aspects of the sales process. A loan officer should be adept at attracting and retaining customers, consistent in following up with potential borrowers asking for the sale, overcoming objections and closing the deal.

Historically, the most common way that borrowers contacted lenders was through the telephone. While the internet is now a major source of contact for customers with lenders, the telephone is still an integral part of a loan officer’s job. Even in the age of the internet, it is still vital for a mortgage professional to be skilled on the telephone.

In fact, telephone skills are so important that many mortgage companies provide their loan officers with a script or guidelines on how to speak with borrowers on the telephone. Scripts provide employees with a proven structure that works. For the loan officer in a company that provides a sales script, the key factor to success on the phone is simply following and implementing the guidelines.

For a loan officer in a company that provides no established phone guidelines, it is critical to obtain training on effective telephone techniques. Being skilled on the phone is more than simply being polite, having a pleasant voice and answering any of the caller’s questions. A successful mortgage officer is able to take control of a conversation and accurately determine the borrower’s specific needs and desires.

Professional written communication is another vital skill that a loan officer should possess. There are increasing numbers of borrowers who contact mortgage companies through the internet and through email. Many customers will determine who they will or not do business with, through the quality of written communication. Therefore, the loan officer who is able to communicate clearly and professionally gives himself a better opportunity at attracting and retaining clients.

Loan officer jobs also require the ability to communicate with borrowers from different ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, religious background, socio-economic status and education levels. As with all sales positions, people skills are a must. Customers will usually choose to do business with people they like and trust, and people skills are a vital component of this.

The mortgage process can be extremely complicated and the best mortgage professionals are ones who are detail-oriented, thorough, accurate, and comfortable with doing basic mathematics. Lastly, loan officer jobs require a dedication to honest, ethical behavior, a desire to provide the best possible customer service and the commitment to provide a loan that best fits a customer’s needs and desires.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Certlerant — On Feb 24, 2014

You are right, Glasis. First-time buyers should do their homework and be cautious about choosing a realtor and a lender.

Buyers should look for a loan officer who is professional, thorough, straightforward and honest.

This person is the liaison between the buyer and the lender. They know what the bank wants, and they gather all of the information that tells them what you can reasonably afford.

By Glasis — On Feb 23, 2014

A good loan officer is the first-time home buyer's best friend.

As the article says, buying real estate is a complicated, often frustrating process. For those who are doing it for the first time and don't really know what to expect, that anxiety level can be increased exponentially.

Once you find a real estate agent you feel you can trust, ask them for recommendations on loan officers. Realtors work with loan officers on a regular basis and will know the best ones in the area that work well with first-time buyers.

Also, a buyer should not hesitate to shop around for loans. Just like any other major purchase, it is to your advantage to get interest rate quotes and loan product details from several potential lenders.

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