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Choosing The Right Loan Officer Essential To Achieve Your Financing Goals

David Vieira

Senior Vice President
Sales Trainer / Loan Manager
Loan Originator ID No. 592382

I was asked recently, “If you were not a loan officer, what qualities would you look for in one…whom would you trust with the biggest loan of your life?” The phrase KISS as in “Keep it Simple, Stupid” came to mind. Not because the process is simple…but because the answer is simple, if you just stop and think about it. You would want: “Knowledge, Integrity, Structure, and Skill.”

KNOWLEDGE. You often hear, “I specialize in FHA, VA, MCC, USDA, Jumbo loans, etc.” I would not want just a “specialist”…I would want a “generalist.” He or she should know all about every type of financing. No one program is good for everyone. For example, a veteran with a large enough down payment, and who cannot get his funding fee waived, should maybe not use VA financing. The loan officer should know the underwriting guidelines for each program or have quick access to these guidelines.

INTEGRITY. Loan officers all talk about integrity, but can they discourage a client from getting a loan if it is not in the client’s best interest? For example, the client could lower their mortgage payment by re-financing, but can they recover the loan closing costs, or have they just extended their loan term which would mean that they are not ultimately saving money. A good loan officer knows that if they look after their clients’ needs, they get referrals and their clients will use their services again in the future. Look for the length of time the loan officer has been in the business and, most importantly, how long their managers have been in the business. These managers provide the answers for the questions and problems that inevitably arise. Ask if you can call some past clients to check on what they experienced. Longevity alone does not guarantee integrity, but the ability to get referrals does.

STRUCTURE. I would want a loan officer with the ability to structure my loan to suit my needs. Should I put less down and pay off my debts? Which debts should I pay off? Is financing with a first and second mortgage better than having one loan with private mortgage insurance? Should I borrow against other properties to increase my down payment? Should I refinance my own home to pay off an investment proper-ty’s loan? Ask for financing options.

SKILL. Is my loan officer able to communicate, not only with me and my real estate agent but with my seller’s real estate agent as well. Is he or she able to convince a loan underwriter, by asking for and providing the right documentation, that my loan should be approved? Does he or she understand the myriad of changes imposed recently on the lending industry and know how the impact on me can be minimized?

Invest some time and effort in selecting your next loan officer. Then let his or her attributes of Knowledge, Integrity, Structure, and Skill provide you with a less stressful and smoother lending experience.

This article was written by David Vieira who has just joined Honolulu HomeLoans as Senior Vice President/Sales Trainer/ Loan Manager. He has been active in real estate and mortgage lending for the past 35 years. David has completed the mortgage originator licensing requirements necessary for loan officers working for lenders that are non-depository institutions. He was required to take 20 hours of educational classes and pass a national and state licensing exam in order to qualify to originate loans with Honolulu HomeLoans. David notes that the licensing requirement is beneficial because loan officers gain extra expertise in the process of obtaining it and it sets the professional bar higher in the mortgage lending industry.

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