Know what to expect: Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers

Either a mortgage broker or a loan officer may help you when it's time to find a mortgage . As both a mortgage broker and mortgage banker will help you purchase a new home, it's easy to confuse them. However, it will be helpful to understand the ways they differ so you know what to expect from them during your mortgage process.

About Mortgage Brokers

A mortgage broker (either a firm or an individual) is an independent agent for both the mortgage loan borrower and the lender. Your mortgage broker will stand as facilitator 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 partner with a mortgage broker to analyze your financial circumstance and find the lender who has the best loan program for you. You give your mortgage loan application to your broker, who offers it to a number of lenders. Your mortgage broker then helps you work with the lender of choice until closing. The borrower pays a commission to the broker at closing.

About Loan Officers

Loan officers represent a specific lending institution (such as a bank) who market and process mortgages and other loan products originated by their employer alone. There may be a wide range of loans types to choose from, but all are products of that specific lender.

A mortgage banker (also called an "account executive" or "loan representative") acts on behalf of the borrower to the lending institution. A mortgage banker will walk the borrower through the application, processing and loan closing. Either a salary or commission is given to loan officers by their employers.

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