A private money broker works as the intermediary between borrowers and banks or other financial institutions. Money brokers can become experts in finding good loan deals for their clients. Money brokers charge more than banks, but they may be able to save their clients money in the long run.
Money brokers or independent loan brokers establish relationships with lenders. If you are good at networking with lenders, you will be able to find them clients and steer your clients toward the best lenders, while earning a commission. If you’re thinking about becoming a money broker, it’s a good idea to be familiar with lending. A background in banking, mortgage loans or commercial real estate may give you much of the training and inside knowledge you’ll need.
Become a Loan Broker
When you become a loan broker, you will be charging clients a price to find them the best loan deals. You’ll want to be clear and up front about your fees. Brokers who work with community banks and credit unions often charge fees of 1 to 3 percent of the total value of the loan. This may give you a steady income as well as a good reputation. If you are up front about your fees, you will avoid the shady reputation that some money brokers have.
Good Business Practices
To avoid that shady reputation, here are some suggestions:
- Show that you have a physical office. Have it listed on your website and letterhead, and be accurate about your location.
- Offer references.
- Give them a phone number to call you.
- Let your clients know a bad credit rating will mean a much higher interest rate. Be up front with them.
- Get yourself established with some reputable banks so you can gain experience.
Federal law in 2008 required that any money broker working with mortgage loans will need to complete a 20-hour approved course, usually offered online. So it's a good idea to do this course, because mortgages may make up a large part of your business. You can also do this course while earning a bachelor’s degree in business, finance or related area. The degree will help you navigate your way through the complex world of finance, as well as manage your own loan brokerage business.
Loan brokers can also get certified through nonprofit organizations, including the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association. This shows potential clients you’re serious about following ethical standards.
Other Important Qualities
As a money broker, you’ll need to be detail-oriented. When you’re working with lending institutions to provide a loan for a client, you’ll need to gather their personal information, answer questions, offer them various loans and explain the advantages and disadvantages, verify the client’s credit rating and income level and review the loan agreement to comply with regulations.
You’ll need to be good with people. You’ll be soliciting business, and you’ll need to be comfortable telling people why you can offer them a better deal than if they went through their local bank. You'll also need to be able to tolerate uncertainty, because business may not always be steady.
It will be your job to save people's time. You may also be working with people who have a difficult time qualifying for conventional loans. You’ll be working with lending institutions to find an institution willing to take on someone who has a blemish on his credit record.
Your salary will vary greatly. While you may be able to start the business with a home office, some software and lots of shoe leather to meet with lenders and find clients, you won’t need a lot of cash. There are always people who need loans, and the job outlook for loan officers in general is growing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You will be providing a service for busy people or for people who don’t have the credit record to get a loan but who may need one anyway.