Know the difference: Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers

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When you apply for a mortgage loan, you may work with a loan officer or you may choose to work with a mortgage broker. As a new home is the result of the work of both mortgage broker and loan officer, people sometimes confuse the two. Yet recognizing the differences between them is advantageous to your mortgage loan process.

About Mortgage Brokers

A mortgage broker (either a group or an individual) is an independent agent for both the mortgage loan applicant and the lender. Your mortgage broker will stand as facilitate between you and the lending institution; which may be a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even a private investor. A mortgage broker can review your finances to find out which lender is the best fit for your loan needs. From application to closing, your mortgage broker facilitates the loan process: submitting your loan application to a number of lenders, and walking you with the chosen lender through to closing. The borrower gives a commission to the broker if the loan closes.

Loan Officers

Loan officers work for a specific lending institution (such as a bank) who work with mortgages and other lending programs on behalf of their company alone. They may be able to offer loans to fit many different situations, but all the loans will be products of the same lender.

A loan officer (also called an "account executive" or "loan representative") represents the borrower to the lending institution. From choosing a loan product to closing, a loan officer will help you through the process. Loan officers may be paid a commission or salary for their services by their employers.

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