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SmartAsset: What Does a Loan Processor Do?

A loan processor prepares a mortgage loan application for consideration by the loan underwriter. The loan processor requests credit reports and gathers documents from the applicant as part of getting the application ready to pass on for underwriting. Loan processors sometimes communicate directly with loan applicants to request missing documents and fill in needed information on the application. Let’s break down how a loan processor affects your mortgage application.

A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your home buying goals and needs.

Role of Loan Processors

Loan processors are important members of the teams of financial services professionals that assist most home buyers with borrowing to fund their purchase. They enter the scene after an application meets with a loan officer, who helps determine which loan applicants are likely to qualify for loans and which loan programs are appropriate.

After loan processors come the loan underwriters. These are the people who, often aided by computer algorithms, make the final decision about whether to offer a loan and the terms.

Loan Processor Job Description

SmartAsset: What Does a Loan Processor Do?

The main part of a loan processor’s job is to gather, examine and assemble the documents underwriting will need to evaluate a loan application. These documents often include paycheck stubs, tax returns, bank statements and documents proving insurance coverage. When relevant, they may request and include papers relating to other debts as well as assets like investment portfolios in the application.

If any information such as an applicant’s tax return or bank statement is missing from the application, the loan processor may communicate directly with the applicant to request it.

The loan processor’s job also includes verifying information provided by the applicant. For instance, the loan processor may contact an employer listed by the applicant to confirm employment.

Loan processors will also communicate with third parties to request information about loan applicants. For instance, they will order credit reports from credit bureaus. The processor will go over the report to check it for errors and negatives such as late payments. If there are any issues on a credit report, the processor may contact the applicant to request details and, perhaps, an explanatory letter to include with the application.

A processor is also likely to communicate with third parties about documents that will be important for the loan applications. These could include appraisers, insurance companies and providers of escrow account services.

Throughout the procedure the processor will have various deadlines by which certain documents are supposed to be ready. An applicant is likely to hear from the processor if any requested documents haven’t been delivered as a deadline approaches.

Finally, the processor will submit the completed application and all relevant documents to the underwriter. The processor’s part of the application processing is done at that point. While the completeness and accuracy of the application the processor submits is critical, the processor has no direct input into whether or not a loan is approved by underwriting.

Loan Processor Training and Licensing

The National Association of Mortgage Processors is a private educational organization that provides training for people who want to work as loan processors. The organization issues certificates to those who complete coursework. They range from the basic Certified Mortgage Processor designation to advanced and specialist certifications, including Certified Master Mortgage Processor and Certified Mortgage Servicing Specialist.

The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) sets standards for mortgage professionals and registers those who are licensed. Many states require mortgage processors to be licensed as mortgage originators or to work as an employee of someone who has a mortgage originator license. The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) sets standards for mortgage professional education and registers those who are licensed. Licensing is generally handled through an individual state’s occupational licensing department.

Bottom Line

SmartAsset: What Does a Loan Processor Do?

Loan processors are important members of the team of financial services professionals that mortgage applicants will encounter while arranging financing for a home purchase. While they do not make underwriting decisions, they are responsible for making sure that the loan application has all the necessary information for the underwriter to make the call on whether to extend a loan and what the terms will be. Loan processors often communicate directly with loan applicants to request additional documents and fill in missing information, as well as requesting credit scores and other pertinent data.

Tips for Buying a Home

  • A financial advisor can assist you with evaluating major borrowing and purchasing decisions. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Before submitting loan applications, consider using SmartAsset’s calculator to help you figure out how much house you can afford.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/SolisImages, ©iStock.com/miodrag ignjatovic, ©iStock.com/utah778

Mark Henricks Mark Henricks has reported on personal finance, investing, retirement, entrepreneurship and other topics for more than 30 years. His freelance byline has appeared on CNBC.com and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and other leading publications. Mark has written books including, “Not Just A Living: The Complete Guide to Creating a Business That Gives You A Life.” His favorite reporting is the kind that helps ordinary people increase their personal wealth and life satisfaction. A graduate of the University of Texas journalism program, he lives in Austin, Texas. In his spare time he enjoys reading, volunteering, performing in an acoustic music duo, whitewater kayaking, wilderness backpacking and competing in triathlons.
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