Know the difference: Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers

When you're looking to get a mortgage loan, you may work with a loan officer or you may choose to work with a mortgage broker. As both yield the same result (a new home), people can confuse the two job types. But for the application process, it will help if you recognize their differences.

About Mortgage Brokers

During the mortgage loan process, an individual or firm who is an independent agent for both mortgage loan applicant and lender is a mortgage broker. Your mortgage broker will stand as facilitator between you and the lending institution; which may be a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even an individual, private investor. A mortgage broker can consider your numbers to find out which lender is the best fit for your loan needs. Your broker will present your loan application to one or more lenders, and works with the lender of choice until the loan closes. The broker receives a commission from the borrower if the loan closes.

Loan Officers

Lending Institutions (banks, finance companies, and others) employ mortgage bankers to promote, and process loans solely from that particular institution. They may be able to offer loans to fit many different situations, but all the loans are programs of the same lender.

Also known as a "loan representative" or "account executive," a mortgage banker acts of behalf of the borrower to the lending institution. The loan officer will walk the borrower through the application, processing and closing of the loan. Lending institutions compensate the mortgage bankers with a commission or salary.

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