Know what to expect: Mortgage Brokers vs. Loan Officers

When it comes to getting a mortgage , you should know the difference between a mortgage broker and a loan officer. As both reap the same outcome (a new home), it's understandable to confuse them. But for your application process, it can help if you know how they differ.

About Mortgage Brokers

During the mortgage loan process, an individual or group who is an independent agent for the mortgage loan applicant as well as the 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 investor. You partner with a mortgage broker to review your financial situation and find the lender who has the best loan program for you. You deliver your application to your broker, who offers it to several lenders. Your mortgage broker then assists your work with the lender chosen until closing. Upon closing, the broker's commission is given by the borrower.

About Loan Officers

Lending Institutions (banks, finance companies, and others) employ loan officers to market, and process mortgage loans on behalf of that specific institution alone. They may have the ability to offer loans to fit many different situations, but all the loans are products from 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 choosing a loan product to closing, a mortgage banker will walk the borrower through the process. Mortgage bankers are given a commission or salary for their services by their employers.

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