Bank Loan Originator Jobs

Mortgage loan originators, or officers, work for mortgage banks or in the mortgage loan departments of commercial banks. Originators or mortgage loan officers are all about developing sales and referrals. At some banks, originators are expected to develop strategies for gaining more referrals for the department.

At other banks, they will be making cold calls or using other techniques. The primary goal of the originator is to bring in as many qualified loan applicants as possible to the lending institution.

Mortgage loan originators must keep their eyes on the housing market, develop strong relationships with real estate brokers and agents, and know what their competitors are offering and how to compete with them. Most originators receive customers through referrals from other customers, so providing excellent service to all customers is very important if the originator expects to keep the business flowing.

Mortgage loan originators usually work a normal work day. However some may have to work extended hours or on weekends in order to accommodate customers’ work schedules.

Once the potential customer has contacted the originator, he or she meets with him and guides him through the loan process, disclosing all of the information he needs to make a decision. It is the originator’s job to present various loan products to the customer and find one that meets the customer’s needs. Once the customer chooses a product, the originator will help him or her to gather all necessary documentation to complete the process.

Educational Requirements

While most employers prefer candidates with a college degree, if you have four or more years of experience in mortgage banking or sales and can demonstrate you achieved excellent results, the bank will consider you for the position. Most banks will provide the originator with training once he or she is on the job.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, recent federal legislation requires that all mortgage loan officers be licensed. Licensing requirements include at least 20 hours of coursework, passing a written exam, passing a background check, and having no felony convictions. There are also continuing education requirements for mortgage loan officers to maintain their licenses.

Certifications are available through the Mortgage Bankers Association. Originators can earn the Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) designation. The association offers three CMB designations: residential, commerce, and master to candidates who have three years of experience, earn educational credits, and pass an exam.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Mortgage loan officers or originators should be highly motivated to achieve. They must be comfortable in a sales role, and communicating and presenting loan information to prospective and existing customers. The mortgage loan originator should have excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as excellent knowledge of the mortgage loan products the bank and competitors offer. The originator must be very knowledgeable of all bank and government lending requirements and underwriting guidelines. He or she may be required to attend networking and community events in order to develop relationships and referrals, so the originator should have good people skills.

The mortgage loan originator should also have excellent organizational and time management skills.

Average Salary

The average annual wages for all loan officers (not specifically mortgage loan originators) are approximately $54,700. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,710 and $76,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,850, while the top 10 percent earned more than $106,360. This shows the wide range of salaries all loan officers can earn. At some mortgage banks and other institutions, the originator may earn commissions. Those who do, usually end up earning more money than those on salaries. Larger banks may also pay higher commissions and salaries than smaller banks.

Potential Career Paths

Mortgage loan originators can choose to advance their careers in a few different ways. If they are highly successful as originators, they can advance by taking the same position at a larger bank or mortgage banking firm. He or she can also become a supervisor or manager of other originators and support personnel. Originators who earn certifications are more likely earn promotions or land higher paying jobs at other firms.

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