Know what to expect: Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers

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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. It's common to confuse the two because both will give the same result: a new home. However, knowing how they differ is beneficial to the mortgage loan process.

What is a Mortgage Broker?

During the mortgage loan process, an individual or group who is an independent agent for both mortgage loan borrower and lender is a mortgage broker. Your mortgage broker will stand as coordinator between you and the lending institution; which can be a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even an individual, private investor. You use a mortgage broker to look at your financial circumstance and find the lender who has the best loan for you. Your broker will offer your mortgage application to one or more lenders, and works with the lender of choice until closing. The broker gets a commission from the borrower at closing.

What is a Loan Officer?

Lending Institutions (banks, finance companies, and others) employ loan officers to offer, and process loans solely on behalf of 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 loan officer acts of behalf of the borrower to the lender. From selecting a loan program to closing, a loan officer can help you through the process. Loan officers are paid a commission or salary for their work by their employers.

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