Advantages of a Mortgage Professional vs Application Clerk
Buying a home is an expensive proposition, and usually the largest single financial transaction of the average persons life. Not all mortgage loan officers are created equal. It is important to understand the advantages of a true licensed mortgage professional, versus an unlicensed application clerk.
A deserved premium is always given to those Loan Officers who have deep knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of mortgage financing and loan programs. They are an asset for different kinds of clients because of their life experiences, loan experiences, wisdom, and resourcefulness.
Most people simply contact their bank, and whomever answers the phone is who they entrust with the mortgage. Why? The next biggest group of people use whomever their Real Estate Agent suggests. Why do you blindly trust these people?
Licensed versus Unlicensed
If I asked you if you preferred to work with a licensed or unlicensed Loan Officer, the answer is pretty simple. Just about everyone would say a licensed person. Yet the vast majority of Loan Officers do NOT have an individual Loan Officer License. Depending on where they work, they are not ever required to have a license.
If they work at a bank, credit union, or mortgage company owned by a bank or credit union, no licensed required. If they work at a mortgage broker, or other non-bank owned lender, a license IS required.
But just because a licensed is not required, does not prevent someone from getting a license. If they really cared about you, and being the best they could be, they would show it by obtaining a license. This proves to clients they have met the requirements for background checks, schooling, passing testing, and continuing education.
How to Check for a License
All Loan Officers must have a tracking number, known as an NMLS number (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry). This is NOT a license number!
To verify a Loan Officer is Licensed, not simply registered, go to the NMLS Web Site at www.NMLSconsumerAccess.org. Type in the Loan Officers name or NMLS number.
Towards the bottom of the page, it will say State Licenses/Registrations, or Federal Registration.
If it says: Federal Registration, and Federal National Mortgage Originator. This means the person is NOT Licensed
If it says: State Licenses/Registration, then lists one or more states, this means the person IS Licensed.
Who to Choose?
I am not saying that the person who is simply registered and NOT licensed is a bad person. I am not saying they don’t have experience. I am not saying that a person with a license is a good person…
But what I am saying, is someone who has taken the time to pass the required background checks, taken the schooling required, pass the required state and federal tests, and receives mandatory continuing education each year show you the consumer that they are true professionals. If the person you are working with doesn’t have a license, ask they why? An answer of “I don’t need one” is a poor answer.
Clients enjoy a peaceful mind knowing that an important aspect of their lives is in the hands of a highly professional Loan Officer. This draws the line between application clerks and real professionals.
In the context of service, respectfulness, dedication, and commitment to helping others, I am choosing a Licensed Professional, regardless of the industry!
Joe Metzler is a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer for Minnesota based Cambria Mortgage. He was named the 2014 Minnesota Loan Officer of the Year, and provides Home Mortgage Loans in MN, WI, IA, ND, SD.
He can be reached at (651) 552-3681