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A loan processor is the intermediary between a mortgage broker or loan officer and the bank or mortgage lender.
Loan Processor Job Description
Once a loan is originated by a mortgage broker or loan officer, the paperwork is handed over to a loan processor. The loan processor role is to prepare and organize an applicant's file before sending it to a bank or lender for approval. Processors verify employment information and debt-to-income ratio. They look for any red flags in a loan application and try to resolve any problems before the file gets to the lender. In many cases, a borrower will spend more time working with the processor than with the officer who originated the loan.
Although there are no formal education requirements to prepare you for loan processor duties, a high school diploma is the minimum qualification. Most employers prefer candidates with an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in finance, accounting or related field. Experience in the banking industry can also be helpful in landing a job as a loan processor. Excellent communication skills are a must, in addition to strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
Licensure is required in some states. Various levels of certification are offered through the National Association of Mortgage Processors. Typically, certification is not required by employers, but these credentials may enhance employment, salary and promotion opportunities.
Loan processors work in office settings, typically Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Depending on the employer, some loan processors may work on weekends, if there is a large number of loans to be processed during a busy period. Some employers offer loan processors the option to work from a home office. Because processors must work with licensed underwriters and loan officers, self-employment as a loan processor is not an option.
Salary and Job Outlook
Many loan processors work on commission, meaning they earn a base salary and additional monies for the loans they process. Commission structures vary by employer. Processors may get paid per file and earn bonuses when the reach a certain volume. High base pay usually means a lower commission rate. If you're paid little to no base salary, commission rates are typically much higher. Payment structure depends on the agreement between you and your employer. The typical salary range for a mortgage loan processor is $33,261 to $41,661. Employer, geographic location, education, skills and experience all have an impact on how much you can earn in the profession.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks data on most civilian occupations, the outlook for loan officers is strong, with a projected growth rate of 11 percent through 2026. That's faster than average, compared to all other jobs. A bright outlook for loan officers likely means that there will be plenty of opportunities for loan processors, as well.
Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for eHow.com, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.