If you’re seriously interested in buying a home, you’ve probably put time and energy into finding the right real estate agent. Unless you have enough money to buy cash, you will probably need to secure a mortgage to finance your purchase. You should put the same energy into finding the right lender as you did with a real estate agent. Banks, credit unions and lending companies have a variety of options that come with advantages and drawbacks. You’ll want to work with someone who is knowledgeable about all your options available to you as a borrower. This person, known as a loan officer, helps to originate mortgages and represents you to a creditor. Here are things to consider in your search.
Things to Consider While Searching for Mortgage Loan Officer
Determining Your Needs
A good mortgage loan officer (MLO) should be knowledgeable about the type of mortgage you need. They should be experienced in dealing with the type of products that are ideal for your situation. A first-time buyer may be eligible for special home buying assistance programs that can help with a purchase. What if you’re trying to buy a home over a certain price? You might need a jumbo mortgage. What if you are self-employed or make a living based on commissions? What if you have a low credit score? The right MLO should know what products and programs are out there that are specific to your needs.
For residential lending, MLOs must usually obtain a license from the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). NMLS credentials include a background check, education, credit check and passing a licensing exam. Many states require individual testing, and MLOs are required to regularly complete a certain amount of continuing education courses to stay knowledgeable about their industry. Look for an officer that is credentialed and up to date on NMLS Mortgage Continuing Education.
Check to see what skills a potential MLO officer. Can they properly evaluate your tax returns to secure a loan approval on your behalf? Do they know what documentation is needed to collect upfront or will they be scrambling at the last minute? Mistakes made by an MLO can negatively impact your ability to get into the home you want and when. A good MLO should also be technically savvy. Many lending companies use complex software to originate loans. Your MLO also should have great people skills.
Working with the right mortgage loan officer is just as important as finding the right real estate agent. Your loan officer should be licensed and in tune with the goings-on of their industry. They need to be communicative and experienced in handling the type of products that offer the best advantage to you.