Frank Donnelly, former president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington, recalls one loan settlement he’ll always remember. “The lady (purchasing the home) walked in with her son, who had on a suit and tie,” Donnelly says. “She herself was dressed up in a full-length gown with a headdress. And she said it was because she wanted to show her son how important it was to buy a house. When you do this day in and day out, you can sometimes forget about what a big deal this is to people.”
Loan officers work in a range of settings, including commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and car dealerships. The profession involves a lot of paperwork and managing logistics, and it also requires extraordinary interpersonal skills. Borrowing money can be a nerve-wracking experience, and a loan officer should make his or her clients feel at ease during the process while still educating them on their decision.
“I like to meet with customers face to face,” Donnelly says.”It’s my job to make sure that they come to their next purchasing decision with more knowledge and wherewithal for the process.”
The need for loan officers is related to the health of the economy. Economic growth, population growth and low interest rates all create demand for loans and employment opportunities for loan officers. However, the growing use of loan underwriting software, which automatically underwrites loans online, could temper some of the job growth.The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7.7 percent employment growth for loan officers between 2018 and 2028. In that period, an estimated 24,300 jobs should open up.