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Consumer Loan Officer Duties and Responsibilities

While the specific duties of a consumer loan officer depend on the setting in which they work, most share several responsibilities across industries:

Process Loan Applications The consumer loan officer's primary duty is working with customers to process loan applications and help them secure financing. This process begins with an initial interview in which the consumer loan officer gathers basic information related to the applicant and the type of loan and amount they are seeking. The consumer loan officer then provides support throughout the loan process.

Gather Consumer Financial Data Another central duty of the consumer loan officer is gathering financial data to support approval of or reject decisions. This typically involves verifying consumer information, such as employment records and bank account holdings, along with conducting in-depth research related to the applicant's creditworthiness by pulling credit reports and verifying a history of on-time payments.

Establish Payment Plans Consumer loan officers frequently work with customers to establish payment plans as part of the loan application and approval process. These plans break loans into manageable amounts and may also provide the customer with some flexibility regarding prepayment or temporary deferment. Some loan officers may also assist customers with setting up automated payments.

Maintain Approval and Rejection Records For each loan approval and rejection, the consumer loan officer maintains thorough records that might detail reasons for rejection, approval terms, and customer data that show why they decided on certain loan elements. This ensures compliance with lending guidelines, while also providing a record of the approval or rejection process if the customer has questions about the consumer loan officer's reasoning or determinations. Additionally, the consumer loan officer's superiors may request justifications for an approval or denial.

Manage Account Data Consumer loan officers also work with other banking professionals to maintain and update customer account data that can affect loan options and payments. For example, a customer's income may change, or credit score may increase, making them eligible for larger loans at more competitive rates. While bank clerks may handle the data entry, the consumer loan officer ensures that it is correct and timely.

Conduct Customer Outreach and Support Marketing, support, and outreach are all central to the consumer loan officer's role. Before, during, and after the loan application process, consumer loan officers use a variety of methods to reach out to potential customers and provide information on loan products and procedures, ensuring they have a positive borrowing experience, that they return to the loan officer for future loans, and that they refer their associates to the same financial institution.


Consumer Loan Officer Skills and Qualifications

Consumer loan officers work directly with customers to provide financing for a variety of applications. Most have a bachelor's degree in a related field and the following skills:
  • Financial - familiarity with financial terms and practices is central to this role since consumer loan officers have to know and understand the loan products available to their clients and be able to explain loan terms
  • Information gathering - consumer loan officers gather customer data from a variety of sources, so data gathering, analysis, and assessment are all key skills
  • Customer support - because consumer loan officers spend a lot of time working directly with their clients, they need excellent customer service and client support abilities
  • Marketing - marketing and advertising are also important in this role, especially to gain new clients and inform potential and existing clients about new offers for which they can apply
  • Team collaboration - most consumer loan officers work with lending teams, so effective coordination and communication between team members is vital

Consumer Loan Officer Education and Training

While mortgage loan officers need a specific license, this is not the case for other consumer loan officers. Instead, most tend to have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as finance or business administration. There are many opportunities for on-the-job training as consumer loan officers gain familiarity with best practices, regulations, and effective strategies for gaining customers, conducting due diligence, and issuing loans.

Consumer Loan Officer Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that, as of May 2017, loan officers (including consumer loan officers) earned a median annual salary of $64,660. The highest-paid 10 percent of loan officers earned more than $135,590 per year, while the lowest-paid earned less than $32,670. The BLS also notes that the reason for this variance is that some loan officers are paid a flat salary, while others work on commission. According to the BLS, employment for loan officers will grow 11 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is slightly faster than average.

Helpful Resources

We searched the web and found several helpful resources if you'd like to learn more about a career as a consumer loan officer:

American Bankers Association (ABA) - The ABA is a professional and advocacy organization for banking and lending professionals, providing professional advancement courses, networking opportunities, and publications for consumer loan officers.

The Loan Officer Revolution - This book by Rick Elmendorf explores the changing nature of consumer lending, with a particular focus on building relationships and offering value-added services.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) - The CFPB oversees consumer lending activities, ensuring that loan terms are fair and that consumers are not offered more than they are able to pay back.

Advanced Credit Risk: Analysis and Management - Read this book by Ciby Joseph to learn the advanced techniques and strategies for credit risk assessment and analysis that consumer lenders use to determine approvals and rejections.

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