Know what to expect: Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Bankers

Either a mortgage broker or a loan officer may help you when you apply for a mortgage . Because both reap the same outcome (a new home), people can confuse the two. Yet it is helpful to understand the difference between the two jobs so you know what to expect from them during the mortgage process.

About Mortgage Brokers

During the mortgage loan process, an individual or group who is an independent agent for the mortgage loan borrower as well as the lender is a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker coordinates things for you and your lender, which can be one of the following: a credit union, bank, trust company, finance company, mortgage corporation or even a private 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 a private investor. You work with a mortgage broker to examine your financial circumstance and lead you to the lender who has the best loan program for you. You deliver your loan application to your broker, who presents it to various lenders. Your mortgage broker then helps you work with the lender chosen until the loan closes. Upon closing, the broker's commission is given by the borrower.

What is a Loan Officer?

Lending Institutions (banks, finance companies, and others) employ mortgage bankers to market, and process mortgage loans solely on behalf of that particular institution. There may be a variety of loans types to choose from, but all are programs of that particular lender.

A mortgage banker (also known as an "account executive" or "loan representative") acts on behalf of the borrower to the lending institution. From finding a loan product to closing, a mortgage banker can guide you through the process. Either a salary or commission is paid to loan officers by their employers.

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