Many individuals take out loans to buy a house, car, or pay for a college education. Businesses use loans to start companies, purchase inventory, or invest in capital equipment. Loan officers facilitate this lending by finding potential clients and helping them to apply for loans. Loan officers gather information to determine the likelihood that individuals and businesses will repay the loan. Loan officers may also provide guidance to prospective borrowers who have problems qualifying for traditional loans. For example, loan officers might determine the most appropriate type of loan for a particular customer and explain specific requirements and restrictions associated with the loan.
Loan officers guide clients through the process of applying for a loan. The process begins with the client contacting the bank through a phone call, visiting a branch, or filling out a Web-based loan application. The loan officer obtains basic information from the client about the purpose of the loan and the applicant’s ability to pay the loan. The loan officer may need to explain the different types of loans and credit terms available to the applicant. Loan officers answer questions about the process and sometimes assist clients in filling out the application.
After a client completes an application, the loan officer begins the process of analyzing and verifying the information on the application to determine the client's creditworthiness. Often, loan officers can quickly access the client's credit history by using underwriting software that determines if a client is eligible for the loan.TCC programs that are right for you:Business Management and Accounting Programs
Working as a loan officer usually involves considerable work outside the office. For example, commercial and mortgage loan officers frequently work away from their offices and rely on laptop computers and cellular telephones to keep in contact with their employers and clients. Mortgage loan officers often work out of their home or car, visiting offices or homes of clients to complete loan applications. Commercial loan officers sometimes travel to other cities to prepare complex loan agreements. Consumer loan officers, however, are likely to spend most of their time in an office. Most loan officers work a standard 40-hour week, but many work longer, depending on the number of clients and the demand for loans. Mortgage loan officers can work especially long hours because they are free to take on as many customers as they choose. Loan officers are especially busy when interest rates are low, causing a surge in loan applications.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of loan officers is expected to grow 14 percent between 2010 and 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by economic expansion and population increases – factors that generate demand for loans.
Career information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.