The planets have aligned and the time to act is now, if you want to fast-track an exciting new career packed with opportunities. Ever thought about becoming a loan officer? It’s a career that comes with excellent benefits and work/life balance for motivated, aspirational personalities.
Here are five top reasons why you should consider lending as a career pathway for you:
IT’S A JOB-SEEKER’S MARKET
Loan officer employment was/is expected to increase by eight percent between 2014 and 2024. As more millennials enter the workforce and baby boomers exit, demand is high for new workers to replace the outgoing generation. The need for loan officers fluctuates with the health of the economy, and as the economy continues to heal from the 2008 financial crisis, more individuals will be looking to buy a home. In fact, according to a recent report from Black Knight Financial Services, foreclosure inventory continues to decrease and is down 3.55% from April to May, and 29% year-over year.
THERE’S JOB PERKS AND STABILITY
The majority of loan companies will provide substantial benefits and perks to their loan officers. These include health insurance, sales commission or bonus pay, retirement plans, advertising and mortgage leads. These are some basic benefits that usually come with the job but specific conditions vary between companies. Some offices offer gym passes, weekly catered lunches, extra vacation time and other perks. The U.S. News & World Report found that overall, most loan officers were able to establish a good work-life balance. While loan officers sometimes have meetings scheduled at odd times – for example, on weekends – loan officers are most often able to determine their own schedule.
YOUR SCHEDULE IS FLEXIBLE
How long you spend in the office or working remotely depends on the type of loan officer you are. For example, a commercial mortgage loan officer tends to spend much of their time away from the office, and is primarily connected to their headquarters and clients via mobile phone and laptop. In general, loan officers do tend to have greater control over their schedule and extra flexibility compared to peers in other careers. According to U.S. News & World Report, a loan officer is ranked as “above average” in being able to have an alternative working schedule while maintaining a work-life balance.
HIGH EARNINGS ARE ON OFFER
The pay scale for a loan officer continually fluctuates. The median salary for a loan officer is currently $62,620 – but some highly-skilled operators topped $128,390 or more. How your pay is determined depends on the company you work for. For some organizations, loan officers only get paid on straight commissions; for others, a loan officer’s salary is a combination of base pay and commissions. Because a loan officer’s pay is partly determined by commissions, they have the potential to make a substantial amount. Loan officers who work in New York City, Ocala, Florida, and Grand Junction, Colorado get paid the top salaries.
IT’S A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU
By nature of the job description, loan officers help people. They are intimately involved with enabling people to make one of the most important life purchases. Being a trustworthy person is a necessary characteristic in this line of work. If clients don’t trust you, it’s impossible to establish a good reputation and build a client base.
Frank Donnelly, former president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington, says discipline is key. “You need to be good at following up, at communicating with your clients … and you need discipline,” he says. “Focus on doing a great job so you can get referrals – and treat people fairly.”
The five incentives to becoming a loan officer outlined here are typical of those in a loan lending career. They are only the tip of the iceberg, however. There are many more tempting reasons to take up a career in lending. Where you live and what company you work for will determine more of the specifics of your benefits and lifestyle. It pays – often literally – to investigate what a career as a loan officer can offer.