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3 Types of Loan Officers

Are you (still) shopping for a mortgage? Many people ask me what their options are when choosing a lender to […]

Many people ask me what their options are when choosing a lender to work with. What I think they may  really be asking is what kinds of loan officers are there to work with in order to qualify for a mortgage.

Lenders often segregate their loan officers into what they call “channels of production” and what senior executives at most lenders won’t tell you is that not all loan officers are created alike .

Notice I didn’t say equal – I carefully chose alike .

Generally speaking, there are three different types of loan officers.

  • Loan officers who work primarily out of a call center
  • Loan officers who primarily work in a large bank’s branch
  • Loan officers who are considered “street originators”

Loan officers who work primarily out of a call center.

Have you ever had dinner interrupted by someone calling you “just to let you know that the fed had lowered interest rates?”

Chances are, these loan officers were working in a call center somewhere. Call center loan officers positions often have the lowest qualification criteria to work at the job and as a result, these loan officers turn-over more frequently and are lower paid.

What happens when the loan officer that you first spoke with is “no longer working at the company”?

The best case is that you as the consumer have to “train someone” on your individual situation. The worst case is that your paperwork somehow got

lost and you have to start over again from scratch.

Loan officers who work primarily out of a bank branch.

These loan officers are generally the most young, physically attractive loan officers as a general group.

No, really – if there was a 2009 loan officer calendar (male or female), I estimate at least the spring, summer and fall months would probably be loan officers who were working out of a larger bank branch.

They also dress the nicest as a whole if anyone cares about that part. And they probably sit in the nicest chairs (lots of Herman Miller stuff at banks).

Loan officers who are considered “street originators”.

By and large, it has been my experience that this type of loan officer is your group of “grizzled veterans”.  The word “grizzled” is particularly applicable here – they are not the youngest, not the best looking or best dressed group and definately don’t sit in the best chairs.

Many of them have been in the mortgage business for years, and most of them (who are still left) have long standing relationships with referral partners and drive much of their business through referrals.

What kind of loan officer do you want to work with?

It depends.

As you are on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace inputting your information and waiting for loan officers from all channels to give you mortgage quotes. keep in mind that there are both good and bad loan officers in each of these three channels.

And if you were one of the many people who read the title and thought to yourself:

“Good. Bad. Ugly.”

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