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Pros and Cons of a Loan Processor Career
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*NET OnLine.
Essential Career Info
A loan processor, also called a loan interviewer, is a professional who interviews and collects information from a person seeking a loan. The processor will review their application and check the financial and personal content provided to determine if they meet the loan qualifications. You may have to manage multiple loans at once, requiring immense time management skills. Work is mostly the same each day with some extra clerical duties possibly provided by employer. Loan processors also tend to communicate regularly with the applicant to give them a status update. According to O*Net, a website of the Employment and Training Administration, loan processors call, e-mail or mail letters detailing acceptance, a decline or a need for more information concerning the application.
Job Growth and Salary Info
Due to the increase in online loan applications, the in-person aspect of a loan processor's job is resulting in a decrease in employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that this field could see a three percent decline in job opportunities from 2012-2022. May 2014 BLS data stated that the average annual salary for a loan processor was $73,760. The bottom tenth-percentile of loan processors earned an average annual salary of $33,050, while the top tenth-percentile earned an average annual salary of $128,390.
Career Skills and Requirements
The BLS outlines that most training to become a loan processor is done by your employer, but a high school diploma is needed. This on-the-job training may take as long as a month. Some of the skills needed to become a loan processor include basic math knowledge and strong organizational skills. Since you'll be reviewing financial data and personal information, an attention to detail and good decision making skills are important.
Job Postings from Real Employers
Employers are looking for loan processors who are quick and can turn applications around fast. Experience appears to be more important than postsecondary education, although some seek a degree. Computer skills and knowledge of applicable mortgage loan software are often required. The following are a sampling of job postings from April 2012:
- A Colorado mortgage company needs a loan processor who will review candidate information, find any missing information and communicate their findings with underwriting. At least a year of experience is needed along with a high school diploma.
- A mortgage company in Beverly Hills
is looking for a loan processor with a high school diploma and a minimum of three years of mortgage loan experience. They should know how to open and process a loan as well as know payoff procedures. This employer needs a worker who's good at making deadlines and can problem solve. Familiarity with the software Calyx Point is helpful.
- A loan processor is needed at a residential mortgage company in Charlotte. This employer is looking for an applicant who can work independently and has extensive computer experience. The posting asked for a candidate with an understanding of underwriting guidelines.
How to Stand Out in the Field
To maximize your skills in a competitive job market, you should hone your expertise in accounting and economics. According to O*NET, loan processors need to have a thorough understanding of basic economics, mathematics and accounting practices. A review of job samplings from April 2012 revealed that basic computer literacy was also necessary. Utilizing vocational experience in high school or earning an associate degree may be a helpful step toward a loan processor job. The BLS states that earning a degree can meet the minimum education requirements if you'd like to enter into brokerage services.
In addition, you need to highlight your interpersonal skills. Showing you're an active listener, being comfortable with face-to-face conversations and being sensitive to information or problems a candidate for a loan may have are necessary skills for loan processors according to O*NET. O*NET recommends having informal or formal training in a service-oriented job with customers might be beneficial for loan processor jobs.
Other Careers to Consider
Bill and Account Collector
If you'd like to work with the public, but not necessarily in helping approve a financial loan, one alternative opportunity is a bill or account collector. According to the BLS, a bill or account collector is an individual who contacts, usually by letter and by phone, an account holder who is late with a payment toward their account, such as a credit card or a mortgage. You typically need the same amount of education (high school diploma) as a loan processor to work as at this job and the same interpersonal skills. However, you're usually only communicating with clients over the phone and seldom, if ever in person. Data from the BLS projected a 14% rise in job opportunities from 2010-2020 and an average salary of $34,000 as of 2011, which is slightly more than loan processors.
General Customer Service Representative