What Do Mortgage Loan Originators Do?
6 minute read
February 2, 2023


If you’re looking to secure a home and need to obtain a mortgage, then you’ll work hand-in-hand with a mortgage loan originator, also known as a loan officer.

We will review the daily duties of a mortgage loan originator, their job requirements, and how to find and choose a loan officer.

We’ll also go over the qualities of a good loan officer and some tips for the home-buying process so that you’re ready to take the next step and secure your dream home.

What are the job duties of a mortgage loan originator?

A mortgage loan originator works directly with you, the home buyer, throughout the home-buying process. 

Some may think the partnership begins once you’ve found your dream home, but that’s not always the case. 

They can also help you before you hunt for a home by reviewing your financial scenario and providing a pre-approval letter, if applicable.

A pre-approval letter essentially states your financial scenario has been reviewed and you would be eligible for a set amount. This can help you stand out from others when you make an offer on a home.

Reviewing a home-buyers financial scenario is one of the many daily duties a loan officer might work on throughout their day.

On any given workday, a mortgage loan originator may be working on the following:

  • Meeting & interviewing clients
  • Reviewing application documentation & financial scenarios
  • Prepping & submitting applications for home loans
  • Providing guidance throughout the application process
  • Reporting on the housing market 
  • Monitoring applications
  • Informing clients of approval or rejection
  • Continuously learning about various loan products
  • Keeping up with compliance & licensure

As you can see, they work directly with home buyers throughout every step of the home-buying process. 

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Do mortgage loan originators have to be licensed?

While different lenders’ requirements may vary slightly, loan officers must be licensed to be able to offer mortgages. They must also take specific pre-licensure courses to obtain a mortgage origination license. 

The guidelines for the pre-licensure may vary from state to state, but it’s still a requirement of both State and federal law that loan originators obtain proper licensure or registration to assist consumers in obtaining mortgages.

Once loan officers have fulfilled their requirements, obtained their licensure, and passed all exams, they must continuously receive education on federal and state mortgage lending laws to keep their licensure active. 

You can rest assured mortgage loan originators have done their due diligence to be able to assist you with a home mortgage.

Qualities of a good loan officer

First and foremost, a good loan officer continuously monitors statistics and data relating to their home buyers and the market to offer their clients the best home lending products.

They should understand whether it’s a buyer or seller’s market, the general market climate, and what that means for their clients. 

A good loan officer will also be up to date on the current lending laws and their mortgage products.

Outside of a thorough understanding of financial and state mortgage lending laws and their mortgage products, there are some other qualities that define a good loan officer.

A good loan officer should also be organized and proactive in their clients’ home-buying experience. They should have all the required information and documentation for their client’s application buttoned up tightly to leave no room for error or delay.

Additionally, they should be hyper-aware of their client’s mortgage applications and their next step in the process, along with always looking for ways to ensure a positive and seamless experience for their client. This includes seamless communication and providing timely answers to your questions. 

A good loan officer will have outstanding communication and personal skills; they guide clients throughout the process and keep their clients in the loop at every step. And a great loan officer will ensure their clients are treated like family.

The last thing you want is to partner with a mortgage loan originator who doesn’t inform you of the next step or if issues with your mortgage arise. 

Whether you’ve already started looking for a mortgage loan originator or are just beginning your research, there are some factors you should consider before making your decision.

How to choose a mortgage loan officer

The first step to finding your perfect home is to find your perfect mortgage loan officer 

So how do you choose the right lender and MLO? Start by researching mortgage companies or individual loan officers in your area or your desired location.

Compile a list of a few lending officers, what excites you about them, and any questions you may have. It’s always a good idea to ask them which loan products they have experience in and how long they’ve been in the industry. 

It would be beneficial to meet with each loan officer on your list to get a good feel of who they are and what their company is like and ask any questions you may have.

Different lenders will make you different offers depending on your finances, one lender could offer a lower interest rate than another, for example. Additionally, you could get a better vibe from working with one officer versus another. 

There’s nothing wrong with meeting with loan officers from different companies and shopping around for the best one. At all meetings, be sure to be prepared and gather all necessary information. Remember to treat them as you’d like to be treated. 

The required documentation can include, 

  • Your driver’s license, passport, or another form of valid identification
  • Your W2s from the last two years
  • Your recent pay stubs
  • Your recent tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • A list of your assets and debt

You can determine how much house you can afford by using a mortgage payment calculator ahead of your first meeting. This tool can help break down what to expect in your monthly mortgage payments.

With all of this information in hand, a loan officer can provide a more accurate review of your financial scenario and their various loan offerings. 

Depending on the mortgage product you’re interested in, you may only be able to work with specific lenders. For example, VA and FHA loans require lenders that are approved by that particular agency. 

Get experienced expertise and guidance with GO Mortgage

There’s a lot to remember within the home-buying process and your mortgage loan originator is just one of many factors. 

But buying a home is an exciting milestone and you set yourself up for success and an enjoyable buying experience when working with the right lender. 

At GO Mortgage, we strive for nothing less with our clients. We make your decision easy with our personable and professional team of mortgage loan originators. Fill out our questionnaire to speak with one of our lending professionals and learn more.

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