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Want to Become a Loan Officer? Here’s What You Need to Know

Because loan officers only need a high school diploma to get started, this career is quickly growing in popularity. That said, most fields may require a license, while others may need a bachelor’s degree in finance or business. Typically, a loan officer’s job is to help clients get a loan for housing, cars, and any other major purchases. This job is ideal for anyone who has a knack for numbers and who enjoys helping others achieve bigger milestones in their life. If you’re thinking of giving this career a shot, here’s what you need to know.

Responsibilities

Although the job description is quite standard, hands-on responsibilities may vary from one field to the other. Primarily, some loan officers specialize in helping individuals learn about their loan opportunities based on their income and credit scores, while others specialize in helping small businesses. A loan officer’s job also includes greeting customers in a financial institution, such as a bank, and introducing them to their options after collecting their information.

You may also schedule meetings with potential clients to establish any risks with chosen plans. Other responsibilities include the filing of the paperwork on behalf of the client for loan approval, as well as evaluating any risks within a plan and educating the client thoroughly about what to expect.

Skills

A loan officer must have a knack for statistics and numbers in general. This is definitely not a job position for anyone who may find mathematics and calculus tedious or confusing. If you’re unsure about your capabilities, there are plenty of online courses, free and paid, that help aspiring loan officers develop their natural talents and learn what to expect from this career in terms of duties and income. On the other hand, career advisors from LoanOfficerLicense.net claim that a loan officer is ideally someone charismatic and confident, seeing as it is part of the job to sell plans, so to speak, to clients. 

While it would be your responsibility to educate clients on what to expect, you also need to make sure to let them know what their best options are compared to your financial institute’s competition.

Licensing and Experience

As previously mentioned, a loan officer is not typically required to have more than a high school diploma under their belt, but that doesn’t mean that bachelor’s or associate’s degrees aren’t prioritized in the hiring process. You will nonetheless need to opt for a certification, seeing as licensure is required for this career. Training is usually fairly simple, and it takes a few months or more depending on the license you’re opting for. You will want to establish what you want to do as a loan officer before you apply for a certificate, seeing as job duties differ with specializations. Some banks will require you to work a 9-5, while freelancers can visit clients in their homes.

On the other hand, a few years’ experiences in a similar job are needed, and it’s usually two to five years depending on the workplace. Even if the job requirements do not include a diploma in finance, it’s advised to seek at least an associate’s degree to stand out from other applicants. This will also better introduce you to what you have to do before you get your certificate.

Work Environment

A loan officer typically works at a bank, a credit union, or any other financial institution that may offer loan plans to clients. You may expect to work at an office, where you can privately discuss payment plans with customers. On the other hand, if you plan to work for a credit card company, the work environment is usually a call center, which has its pros and cons. While it may be more stable in terms of income, commissions are not normally offered. 

That said, call centers can be very stressful for some individuals, seeing as incoming calls can go non-stop, hours at a time. If you’re unsure whether your work environment is suitable for you, it’s best to ask before you apply. However, regardless of where you work, one thing all environments have in common is that the majority of your working hours will be spent on consulting with potential customers, and educating them on their options and plans. You may also be expected to attend meetings with your superiors to get second opinions on loan approvals.

Becoming a loan officer is a well-paid promising career that offers handsome commissions along with other benefits. If you already hold a high school diploma, you may be eligible to apply for the job position. However, some licenses are required, or you may seek a diploma in business, finance, or an equivalent.  

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