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What does a loan officer do?

Loan officers help people apply for loans. This lets people do things like buy a house or a car, or pay for college. Loan officers help businesses by loaning them money to get started or to buy equipment.

Loan counselors help people who want a loan but have problems that could keep them from getting it.

There are three kinds of loan officers.

  • Commercial loan officers work with businesses.
  • Consumer loan officers work with people who want a loan for things like a car.
  • Mortgage loan officers work with people who want to buy real estate or get new real estate loans for property they already own.

Loan officers usually have to travel a lot. Commercial and mortgage loan officers often have to work away from their offices. At the same time they must keep in touch with their offices and customers. Commercial loan officers sometimes travel to other cities. This can be necessary for more complicated loans. Mortgage loan officers often work out of their home or car. They visit offices or homes of customers while filling out applications. Consumer loan officers and loan counselors are likely to spend most of their time in an office.

Most loan officers work a normal 40-hour week. Sometimes they have to work longer hours if they have a lot of customers who want loans. Mortgage loan officers often work long hours. This is because they can take on as many customers as they choose. Loan officers are very busy when interest rates are low. This is because more people will want to borrow.

How do you get ready to be a loan officer?

Loan officers usually have a college degree in finance, economics, or a similar field. It helps to know a lot about computers and how they are used in banking.

If you want to become a loan officer, you need to be able to work well with others. You also need to believe in yourself.

Loan counselors and officers who work in banks or credit unions do not have to get a license. Those who work in mortgage banks or brokerages may have to be licensed.

How much does a loan officer make?

The middle half of all loan counselors earned between $26,330 and $41,660 in 2002. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less that $22,800. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $57,400.

The middle half of all loan officers earned between $32,360 and $62,160 in 2002. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $25,790.The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $88,450.

Most loan officers are paid a commission. This means that the amount they earn depends on the number of loans they bring in. This encourages loan officers to make more loans. Some loan officers are paid only salaries. Others are paid a salary plus commission.

How many jobs are there?

There were about 255,000 loan officer and loan counselor jobs in 2002. Most of these jobs were held by loan officers. Loan officers work all over the country, but most work in or near big cities. Loan counselors and officers work for businesses such as banks and mortgage companies.

What about the future?

Employment of loan counselors and officers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all jobs through 2012. Those who have a college degree will have the best chance for a job. So will people with experience in banking, lending, or sales.

Are there other jobs like this?

  • Insurance sales agents
  • Financial analysts and personal financial advisors
  • Real estate agents
  • Securities and financial services sales representatives
Where can you find more information?

More information about loan counselors and officers can be found in the Careers Database.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

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