Know what to expect: Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers

Either a mortgage broker or a loan officer can assist you when you work on your application for a mortgage loan. Because both give the same result (a new home), people can confuse the two. Yet it will be valuable to know how they differ so you know what to expect from them during your mortgage application process.

What is a Mortgage Broker?

A mortgage broker (either a company or an individual) is an independent agent for both the mortgage loan borrower and the lender. A mortgage broker facilitates things between you and your lender, which can be one of the following: a bank, trust company, credit union, mortgage corporation, finance company or even an individual investor. Acting as a facilitator between you and your lender, your mortgage broker can match you with 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 circumstance and find the lender who has the best loan for you. Your broker will submit your mortgage loan application to a handful of lenders, and works with the lender of choice until the loan closes. The borrower pays a commission to the broker if the loan closes.

Mortgage Bankers

Mortgage Bankers represent a specific lending institution (such as a bank) who work with mortgages and other loans for their company alone. They may have the ability to offer loans to fit many different situations, but all the loans are products of the same lender.

A loan officer (also called an "account executive" or "loan representative") represents the borrower to the lender. The mortgage banker can guide the borrower through the selection, processing and closing of the loan. Either a salary or commission is given to mortgage brokers by their employers.

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