Know what to expect: Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers

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When it's time to locate a mortgage loan, you may work with a loan officer or you may choose to work with a mortgage broker. Because a new home is the result of the work of both mortgage broker and loan officer, it's easy to confuse the two job types. Yet it is valuable to recognize the ways they differ so you know what to expect from them as you enter the mortgage application process.

Mortgage Brokers

A mortgage broker is an individual or group that acts as an independent agent for the mortgage loan borrower as well as the lender. Your mortgage broker will stand as facilitate between you and the lending institution; which can be a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even an individual investor. You work with a mortgage broker to analyze your financial situation and find the lender who has the right mortgage loan for you. Your broker will offer your mortgage application to a handful of lenders, and works with the chosen lender until the loan closes. At closing, the broker's commission is given by the borrower.

About Loan Officers

The most important difference between a mortgage broker and a loan officer is that a loan officer is employed by a lending institution (a bank, credit union, or others) to promote and process loans solely from the programs of that institution. While a loan officer may offer quite a variety of loans, they all are programs from that lender alone.

A loan officer (also called an "account executive" or "loan representative") represents the borrower to the lending institution. A loan officer can walk you through the application, processing and closing of the loan. Loan officers are compensated with a commission or salary for their work by their employers.

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