What Does a Lending Specialist Do?

Mary McMahon

A lending specialist works with bank customers to help them identify and apply for loan products. This includes walking people through the application process, answering questions, and working with customers as issues arise over the course of the loan. Banks typically look for people with at least two years of experience in the mortgage industry to fill lending specialist positions. Membership in professional organizations or successful completion of an advanced training course can be a bonus on job applications, although it is not required.

Lending specialists often evaluate a borrower's credit history.
Lending specialists often evaluate a borrower's credit history.

When a customer is considering a loan, the bank refers the customer to an appropriate lending specialist. Many choose to focus on specific types of loans, such as commercial real estate, residential real estate, or investment properties. The client and lending specialist meet to discuss the types of properties the customer is considering, and what kinds of loans might be appropriate. Available benefits and offers can also be discussed to help the client compare and contrast different options.

This includes a discussion about how much the client wants to borrow. A specialist can evaluate financial statements, credit history, and other factors to determine the amount of money the bank is willing to loan out. Sometimes these sums are close; in other cases, clients may want to borrow more than they are able, and the lending specialist needs to provide realistic advice and information. Other clients may want to take out less than the maximum allowed loan amount.

Client education can be part of the job for a lending specialist. Customers may have questions about different kinds of loan products, how interest rates work, and refinancing. This information can be provided to help people make informed choices about their loans. A customer might, for example, wish to avoid a loan with a balloon payment because it might not be possible to make the payment when it comes due if the client doesn’t have a stable source of income and the ability to put away money in savings.

As the loan process moves forward, the lending specialist can collect paperwork and coordinate with other bank staff. An approval letter provides information to the customer about how much money the bank is willing to loan, and can be used in real estate negotiations. Once a property is under contract, the specialist helps originate the loan and complete the transaction. The client can contact the specialist in the future with questions about forbearance, refinancing, and other issues that may come up.

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