Home / Career Guides / Loan Processor

Loan Processor Career Guide

Loan processors evaluate, prepare, and submit relevant information to financial institutions, such as banks and mortgage lenders, to determine whether a potential loan applicant is eligible for a  commercial loan or real estate loan. They are responsible for ensuring that all documents and signatures are in order before submission. They meet with customers to determine their needs and recommend the loans that help meet their financial goals. They mediate between the customer and real estate agents, financial institutions, lending underwriters, and mortgage loan officers. 

Do you have excellent math and communication skills? Are you analytical and have exceptional attention to detail? You could be the perfect fit for this job. Most loan processors have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, have at least three years of experience in the consumer loan industry, and work at lending institution offices.

Sample job description

The loan processor is responsible for routing mortgage loan files through internal processing systems accurately and efficiently. This includes, but is not limited to, document prep, processing, closing, accounting, reporting, and customer service. This position is vital to the sales staff at [Your Company Name] to promote efficient and correct workflow to meet sales and budget goals. As an ideal candidate, you have proven knowledge of relevant rules and regulations, strong attention to detail, and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Gather and prepare all necessary documentation for the loan package
  • Research and evaluate applicant credit status and current financial position to assess client eligibility for loans or mortgages
  • Order property and loan documentation, such as appraisals, inspections, title searches, site surveys, contracts, and property tax records to help process mortgage loan files
  • Prepare and maintain all paperwork for existing and new loans and loan disclosures
  • Create repayment plans
  • Interview potential clients and assist them in finding suitable loans for their needs
  • Complete loan applications and inform clients of the rules and requirements
  • Submit files to the underwriter for approval or denial
  • Comply with established regulatory guidelines and policies
  • Act as a liaison between applicants, mortgage brokers and loan officers, and mortgage lending underwriters to help further loan approval

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance or relevant field
  • At least two years of experience in banking or finance

Required skills and qualifications

  • Hands-on experience with banking computer software
  • Good comprehension of lending procedures
  • In-depth understanding of loan and mortgage rules and regulations
  • Excellent communication and sales skills
  • Great attention to detail
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Exceptional customer service skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience preparing loan documentation
  • Experience with MS Office 
  • Experience with accounting or business administration
  • Good at multitasking

Typical work environment

Loan officers usually work in offices. They might work in banks, realty companies, mortgage companies, financial institutions, or brokerage firms. Some spend part of their day working outside the office meeting with clients at their homes or businesses. Some also work from a home office. The work environment for a loan processor can often be fast-paced and demanding at times.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a loan processor in an office setting are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. They don’t generally work on Saturdays, but it is often an option. Many loan processors have flexible work hours and many work from home.  

Available certifications

Most certifications for loan processors are administered through the National Association of Mortgage Processors (NAMP). They offer several levels of certifications. Here are some of the best NAMP certifications available for loan processors. 

  • Certified Mortgage Processor (CMP). The CMP is a training and certification program for entry-level loan processors looking to advance their mortgage processing careers. The course covers loan processing basics, advanced loan processing, FHA/VA processing, and mortgage underwriting essentials. The CMP can help fast-track your career in the mortgage processing field. 
  • Certified Contract Loan Processor (CCLP). Offered by the NAMP, this certification is for those individuals looking to advance their contract loan processing careers. Topics such as loan processing basics, advanced loan processing, tax return analysis, and appraisal review can give you the skills you’ll need to become an effective contract loan processor.  
  • Certified Master Loan Processor (CMLP). The Certified Master Loan Processor (CMLP) is for people with at least 5 years of experience in loan processing who are looking to advance their careers. Certification requirements include passing a criminal background check, proving you have the required experience, agreeing to the NAMP code of conduct and ethical standards, and agreeing to meet continuing education requirements to maintain your certification.

Career path

Start your journey to becoming a loan processor by earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a relevant field. Some entry-level positions only require an associate’s degree. You’ll want to have excellent math and communication skills as well. Generally, you’ll need to gain experience working in the finance or banking industry.

Roles such as customer service representative or loan officer are good stepping stones to becoming a loan processor. Many banks and financial institutions also provide on-the-job training. To become a mortgage loan processor, some states require that you have a license unless you are working with a licensed underwriter or mortgage broker.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-2072

2020 Employment322,100
Projected Employment in 2030326,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 1% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift4,300 increase

Automation is the key to the future of lending. Traditionally, the mortgage process has been highly paper-based and analog. Mortgage loans can consist of hundreds of pages of documentation, making the transition from a manual to a digital format essential. Pre-approvals will be exclusively done online where borrowers can upload personal documents themselves. Instead of days, prospective borrowers can find out in minutes if they are approved or not. Underwriters can review mounds of documentation in a few minutes as automation breaks it down into small categories, highlighting the most important information. Chatbots and RPA bots are replacing traditional forms of communication to potential borrowers, making the process even more efficient. 

The loan process from mortgage loan origination to underwriting and closing will be performed through automation, greatly reducing discrepancies, exclusions, and errors. Steps such as verifying credit, analyzing borrower information, and ordering property appraisals will also be done via software. Loan processors will need to shift to using and maintaining software tools as opposed to handling the loan processing steps manually.