How to Become a Loan Processor in 5 Steps

Take a look at the steps to becoming a loan processor, from earning a finance-related degree to completing on-the-job training with your eventual employer. Learn about career advancement options for loan processors. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Loan Processor?

A loan processor, also known as a loan clerk, is a financial manager who assembles and prepares paperwork for loans. As a loan processor, your duties are to obtain personal and financial information from loan applicants to verify the accuracy of information and assist applicants with filling out loan forms. You also must calculate interest rates, monthly payments and closing costs. Finally, you also advise customers on loan options, order property appraisals, and maintain loan application and disbursement records.

Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma

The minimum educational requirement for loan processors at many companies is a high school diploma or GED. Courses in English and math will provide you with a solid base of knowledge to work in the field. Computer and vocational courses that teach you office skills are also helpful.

Step 2: Earn a Degree

Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have an associate's degree in a relevant subject, such as banking and finance. A banking degree teaches you fundamental concepts of money management and the role of banks in safeguarding liquid assets and providing financial services. Banking law, lending practices, credit management, fraud detection and automated processing systems are among the topics you will explore in classes.

Step 3: Obtain Employment

Your potential employers include banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 181,600 people worked as loan processors as of May 2010 (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities will arise from an increased demand for financial services by a growing population and retirements. Career opportunities may be somewhat offset by ongoing implementation of loan automation systems that make processing easier. You could expect to earn a median salary of $33,970 in 2010.

Step 4: Obtain On-The-Job Training

Knowledge of specialized computer software and effective interpersonal communication can be obtained through on-the-job training. Virtually all loan decisions involve computers, recordkeeping and information processing. The share of your work that doesn't include computers will likely involve interacting with customers, which will require you to present a courteous and professional demeanor.

Step 5: Advance Your Career

You could advance your career by moving laterally into other areas of financial services. For some positions, you might have to earn a bachelor's degree or master's degree. You could also accumulate enough years of experience to become a senior loan processor; however, this again could require earning a bachelor's degree. If you've already earned an associate's degree, you should be able to find a suitable bachelor's degree transfer program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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