What is the Job Description of a Loan Officer?

The Job description of a loan officer includes meeting with loan applicants to identify their reasons for applying for loan, evaluating their financial status, drafting a payment plan and also authorising the loan.

Ideal applicants for this position should possess strong communication and interpersonal skills.

They should also have good decision making abilities, as this will play a vital role when carrying out their duties.

These skills make it easier and faster for loan officers to do their duties.

Some of the duties a loan officer include acting as a liaison between loan applicants and the financial institution and helping applicants who qualify get the loan.

In order to perform well at your loan officer job, it is very important you know and understand the job description.

That said, I will advise that you carefully study this free guide on the job description of a loan officer, even before taking up a job as one.


What does a loan officer do?

Loan managers are specialists who assist loan applicants apply for loans, they evaluate applicants to determine if they are trustworthy.

Financial institutions use a process called underwriting to ascertain whether or not an applicant is qualified for a loan.

Oftentimes, they make use of an underwriting software to recommend the amount of loan suitable for an applicant based on his or her financial status.

Loan officers review the software’s recommendations and then make a decision on the type and amount of loan suitable to an applicant taking the applicant’s need and financial status into consideration.

Loan officers also perform a lot of customer service duties, while interacting with clients and supporting them through the process of applying and paying for a loan.

What are the major types of lending a loan officer may specialise in?

There are three major types of lending, and loan officers often major in one of the three.

A loan officer can decide to major in commercial, consumer or mortgage lending.

Commercial lending:

This involves loans for businesses. The loan could either be for a startup or expansion. 

Commercial lending is usually more tactical than other types of lending. 

And sometimes, one financial institution alone cannot afford to carry the burden of the loan alone because the amount is usually huge.

Consumer lending:

Includes personal loan, home loan, education loan.

It is a less difficult process compared to other lending types. 

In small financial institutions, underwriting softwares is not used to make recommendations, the loan officer usually handles the whole decision making process.

Mortgage lending: 

Mortgage lending involves loans for real estate investment.

Typically, mortgage loan officers sort for their own clients.

Therefore they have to develop good relationships with real estate companies and realtors.

In some states, they also require certification. We will talk more about this later in this loan officer job description guide.

Other types of loan officers include: Loan collection officers and Loan underwriters

Loan collection officers: They reach out to clients with delinquent accounts and petition the court for transfer of collateral ownership.

Loan underwriters: They are in charge of assessing the credibility of an applicant. They collect, analyse and verify loan applicant’s financial and personal information.

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What are the duties and responsibilities of a loan officer?

Here are common duties and responsibilities of a loan officer usually featured in the job description.

1. Meet with loan applicants

Loan officers are responsible for meeting with loan applicants.

During the meeting, they identify their needs and reason for applying for a loan.

They also collect relevant documents and information for the loan application.

Loan officers also interview applicants to ascertain their financial status, ability to pay back as well as draft as a payment plan.

2. Inform clients on loan policies and regulations

Before completing a contract, loan officers teach applicants the institution’s loan policies and regulations.

When applicants agree to abide by the policies and regulations, then the contract can be concluded.

3. Reject loan applications

After meeting with clients and assessing their Financial status, a loan officer may decide to reject a loan application.

Whenever loan applications are rejected, it is also the duty of the loan officer to explain the reason why it was rejected to applicants.

4. Respond to applicant’s questions

The loan officer also has the responsibility of responding to the questions of loan applicants.

They also resolve any issue that concerns loan application.

5. Explain to applicant’s the different loan options

It is the responsibility of a loan officer to explain the different types of lending to applicant’s. As well as the terms and conditions attached to each loan option.

This way, applicants can easily decide on what they really want.

Other duties and responsibilities of a loan officer include:

  • Negotiate other ways of payment with clients who have failed to pay back their loan within the agreed time.
  • Advertise other services and products of the financial institution to clients who may be interested.
  • Carry out loan market research to identify potential loan markets.
  • Reach out to clients whose loan payment is due and send the necessary information to the delinquent account for collector action.
  • Go to court to claim ownership of collateral when a client fails to pay back loans at the stipulated time.
  • Cross-check loan agreements carefully to ensure that they are accurate and in line with loan policies.
  • Make use of underwriting software to recommend loan type to clients.
  • Act as liaison between loan applicants and the financial institution.

What qualification do I need to become a loan officer?

The minimum academic requirements for loan officers is a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business management, business administration or other related fields.

In some financial institutions, a person with a master’s degree certificate may get preference.

Commercial loan officers are required to have good knowledge of how to read financial statements as well as general accounting.

Loan officers with exception of mortgage lending loan officers do not need certification or license.

Although some schools offer certification and training for loan officers, it is not mandatory to have one.

But, getting certified shows one’s interest in that career path, it is also a plus to the resume or portfolio of a loan officer as it also shows expertise.

In most countries and states, mortgage bank officers will have to obtain a mortgage loan originator license

Obtaining this license, requires the applicants to complete a minimum of 20 hours coursework. And then sit for and pass a licencing examination.

Oftentimes, loan officers get training on the job.

This training may be in seminars or under the supervision of a more experienced colleague.

What skills does a loan officer need?

Employers also include certain skills in the job description of a loan officer.

This is because, possessing these skills helps a loan officer perform his or her task with much ease and speed.

Some of the skills commonly featured in a loan officer job description include:

1. Communication skills

A loan officer is saddled with the responsibility of explaining different loan options and their terms and conditions.

In order to do this, an officer must possess good communication skills.

Loan officers should be able to communicate effectively verbally and in writing as well.

It is also important to note that good communication skills involve listening as much as it has to do with speaking.

A good loan officer should also possess active listening skills.

That way, he or she can understand applicants more and as such help them better.

2. Interpersonal skills

Loan officers are also required to possess good interpersonal skills.

This is because they are supposed to develop good relationships with existing and prospective loan applicants.

By so doing, they may be able to persuade potential loan applicants to actually take the loan.

3. Customer service skills

Loan officers perform so many customer service duties.

Therefore, they are expected to possess good customer service skills.

Responding to or treating clients poorly can outrightly chase potential loan applicants away.

4. Decision making skills

After assessing necessary information and an applicant’s financial status, a good loan officer should be able to make good decisions.

This decision must be taken with the financial institution’s benefit as well as the applicant’s financial goal in mind.

5. Problem solving skills

A good loan officer should be able to quickly identify problems related to loan application.

After identifying a problem, the loan officers should also think critically to come up with the best solution to resolve the issue.

6. Independence

Loan officers should also be capable of working independently.

You should be able to carry out your job with or without supervision.

To succeed in this career path, you should also possess good time management and qualitative skills.

Also, employers look out for those with mental stamina and strong negotiation skills.

During an interview, it is very important to make reference to these skills.

Also, you need to highlight them in your resume.

Where do loan officers work?

Some of the typical employers of loan officers include:

  • Mortgage companies
  • Commercial banks
  • Automobile dealers
  • Credit intermediation agencies
  • Saving Institutions

Job vacancies may be posted online or advertised on local newspapers or radio stations.

How much do loan officers make?

On the average, loan officers in the United States earn up to $63,270 per year.

Their salary ranges from $32,569 to $132,680 per year.

These figures may be different in your geographical location.

The salary of a loan officer may be determined by so many factors such as:

  • Years of experience
  • Location
  • Qualification
  • Employer
  • Area of specialisation
  • Certification

More experienced and qualified loan officers are likely to earn more than their less experienced and/or qualified colleagues.

Loan officers work environment and schedule

Loan officers usually work in offices of financial institutions.

In some organisations, a loan officer will be required to sort for his or her own clients.

In such cases, they may have to visit different offices and organisations.

A loan officer may also travel for one state to another to meet with clients.

Also, loan officers usually work full time at regular working hours.

Overtime and working on weekends may be necessary if need be.

Loan officer job outlook

Job opportunities for loan officers are expected to increase by 8% from 2018 through 2028.

Although there may be more jobs for loan officers as the economy grows, technological advancement may limit the increase in the number of bank branches.

This may in turn affect the employment of loan officers.

As such, existing or prospective loan officers are advised to familiarize themselves with the tech aspects of their desired career path.

Conclusion: loan officer job description guide

This free guide on the job description of a loan officer has all the answers to your question concerning this career path.

In case you have questions that were not answered, kindly leave your question in the comments session.

Although this guide on the job description of a loan officer was compiled with aspiring loan officers in mind, it can also be used by employers as a template for creating a loan officer job description.

Therefore, feel totally free to make use of it to support your goal.

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