Loan Officer

What is 'Loan Officer'

A loan officer is a representative of a bank, credit union or other financial institution that finds and assists borrowers in acquiring loans. Loan officers can work with a wide variety of lending products for both consumers and businesses. They must have a comprehensive awareness of lending products as well as banking industry rules, regulations and required documentation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Loan Officer'

Loan officers communicate with numerous individuals to facilitate the lending process for banking clients. Loan products that may involve a loan officer can include personal loans, mortgage loans and lines of credit.

Lending Procedures

Loan officers are a direct source of contact for borrowers seeking loans from financial institutions. Many borrowers prefer working with a loan officer directly to ensure all of their needs are met. While traditional bank lending procedures can often be more time intensive the personal interaction often gives borrowers greater confidence in executing a lending deal.

Loan officers work with a borrower to provide consultation, application, underwriting, approval and deal closing service. They have knowledge and access to all types of loans offered by the financial institution for which they represent and can provide consultation to borrowers on the best loan for their individual needs. When a borrower decides on a loan product the loan officer helps guide them through the application. From there they also initiate the analysis of the institution’s underwriter who analyzes and assesses the creditworthiness of potential borrowers for loan approvals.

Lending Documentation

If a borrower is approved for a loan, loan officers are responsible for researching and presenting the appropriate documentation and loan closing documents to ensure compliance. The documentation required for a loan is often automatically generated by a financial institution’s lending system which has been programed based on the rules and regulations governing each type of loan.

Secured loans will generally have a greater amount of documentation required than unsecured loans. Mortgage loans specifically must adhere to a range of regulated documentation which varies by the type of loan being closed. All types of loans will require a closing statement, each with its own documentation requirement. Standard mortgage loans must include a closing disclosure that has to be provided to the borrower three days before the loan is closed. Reverse mortgages and mortgage refinancings require a HUD-1 settlement statement to close the loan which must be provided one day prior to closing.

Loan Officer Commissions

Some loan officers are compensated through commission for the role that they play in the lending process. This commission is a prepaid charge and is often negotiable. Commission fees are typically the highest in mortgage loans, providing compensation to a loan officer for the broad range of services they provided throughout the lending process.