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How to Become a Consumer Loan Officer

Career News January 18, 2014

If you enjoy the idea of helping people achieve their dreams and making a difference, then a consumer loan officer position may be ideal for your personality. A consumer loan officer is a professional negotiator and sales person who helps arrange contracts for qualified lenders. The job of the loan officer is to qualify potential lenders and then instruct them on how to continue the process. Your main concern will be determining creditworthiness and managing any conditions that are required for the loan to go through.

Formal Education

Loan officers help to gather the information needed, since many applicants will be unaware of how to qualify in the first place. Schooling involves learning what files are required, in addition to the application, the verification of statements and other financial documents. All of this is to protect the company, to ensure that the loan is paid back to the lender. Clearly, there is the possibility of major loss for the lending company, which is why the lender will oversee the process closely, following all suggested guidelines and making sure to use good judgment. Is this business decision going to be bad for the lending company? Is something not right about the applicant’s story? These are the decisions you will have to make.

Educationally, it is wise to invest in some sort of formal schooling, preferably beyond high school. Most applicants have a bachelor’s degree in a subject that complements this career field, such as economy or finance, or even banking. A lot of schools will center on learning how to read and evaluate financial statements, as well as business accounting practices that keep companies afloat. In your training, you learn how to help the company maintain their cash flow while also assisting applicants to acquire the money they need.

Additional Skills and Work History

Many companies are now requiring that their officers have formal training in computer software, particularly underwriting software. Find out what college courses provide this training in their curriculum before making a decision. Most banks will prefer some work experience in the industry before progressing to this position. Working as a bank teller or even having some sales experience may prove valuable.

The job focuses on consumer loans, as opposed to mortgage or commercial loans. This means that you are helping individuals to get the loans they need for such lifestyle purposes as automobiles, homes, and other means not related to business. Skills worth developing include people skills, networking skills, and the ability to multi-task. Lastly, plan for certification and licensure since the state may require this step, and even if it doesn’t, it is still a desirable mark on your resume. The federal government gets involved if you work with mortgage loans, so pursue all required licenses before you apply for the best results.

This is a job that pays well and prepares you for a fast-moving, high-paying job in banking and loans. You will be helping people to improve their quality of life, and it is a worthwhile path.

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