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Loan Officer

The Real Poop

Oh. We were gonna say Batman. (Source)

You're the gateway, the yes or the no. You cause screams of joy and sighs of disappointment. You have a crazy amount of power with relatively light training, and career aspirations that revolve around helping those who deserve it. Who are you?

A loan officer.

As a loan officer, you'll have to make decisions every day that affect the lives of countless strangers. Well, not exactly countless; you'll actually keep a solid count for bank records as part of your day-to-day responsibilities. The average compensation for your trouble is a nice $60,000 or more per year, which is the kind of income that'll go far in helping you secure your own loan for a nice home or fancy car (source). 

But if we're being honest, you should know that some days might actually be a bit troubling. After all, no one ever likes having to say no to someone they like—and you're going to be doing it a lot more than you'd hope.

It must be clear to you that you work for the bank; you work for their shareholders and stakeholders. You're there to make money for the bank—but even more so, you're there to protect it from losses (bad loans). 

There are a lot of fancy words that may get thrown around, like "high interest sub-prime llama pants," but basically that means part of your job will include rejecting applicants you know won't be able to pay back the loans.

This is why you're called a loan officer and not Santa Claus. Lending money isn't about being nice, it's about being fair—when it's being done properly, anyway.

As you can imagine, the people who are right for this job are the ones who enjoy working with numbers and customers on an equal basis. If math isn't your strong suit, doing it in a setting where it means the difference between someone else living in a studio apartment or buying a house might not be helpful to anyone involved.

Even if you're good at math, the financial institution's going to want you to prove it with a bachelor's degree in money-related stuff (source). Depending on the kinds of loans you work with, you'll also need certain certifications. You still might get hired by a loan company without them, but no one's going to let you work on mortgages for dollhouses, much less people-sized homes, until you've gone through the motions.

On the other side of it, working with customers is at least half the job. It means being friendly (obviously), but it also means being rational about your friendliness. A good loan officer will be able to explain a client's finances to them without said client's non-math-oriented brain sliding out of their heads and flopping on the floor.

Go ahead, we'll give you a moment to contemplate that image.

I'll be a star one day, you'll see! (Source)

And if someone doesn't have the finances to support their request for money, you need to be able to explain that to them; don't just lie and tell them it's because the bank's decided to quit finances and become an actor.

There are tears in this job. Some of those people you turn down will have a great deal riding on their talks with you, and getting a "sorry, but no" is a huge letdown. You'll manage a lot of risk and stress, and sometimes your work will follow you home (as in, emotionally—if anyone actually follows you home, you should probably call the cops).

But you're the Big Cheese here—no matter how badly the other person may want or need it, your job's the one on the line. So be fair, be responsible, and be well-employed for the rest of your life.