Our goal here is to help you understand who’s involved in the process of helping you get a loan to make your home purchase possible. We’ve outlined broader issues involved loan types and the process of obtaining a loan in our section called Loans and Financing.
In principle, you can obtain a mortgage loan from an individual. I’ve had clients who’ve received their mortgage loan from a family member or a family trust. In this situation, a single individual may set the rules for your loan, talk them through with you, make the final decision regarding whether to make the loan or not, and handle all the necessary paperwork. When dealing with most mortgage lenders, however, there are several people involved in this process. Since you’ll have direct contact with some of them, and hear of others, you should know who’s involved.
The Loan Officer or Loan Originator. The loan originator is the public face of most mortgage lenders. They are the person who handles loan inquiries and interacts with potential borrowers, whether in face to face meetings or by phone and email. The loan officer’s job is to find a loan that will meet your needs and help you submit an application for that loan. It is typically the loan officer who will act as the lender’s liaison with you and with any real estate brokers or attorneys involved in the transaction.
The Loan Processor. The loan processor handles the application once it is submitted and gathers supplementary information, confirming your employment, income and savings for example. They also play a key role in putting papers together for closing. Depending on the way the lender’s business is organized, you may be dealing directly with the processor during this phase of the transaction. In other cases, all communications with the processor may be flown through your loan officer.
The Underwriter, Once all the required documents and information have been gathered and put together by the processor in the proper forms, this loan package with be forwarded to the underwriter. The underwriter will review all of the documentation and make the final decision regarding whether the lender will make the loan. The underwriter’s primary task is to make sure that your package fits the criteria specified for the loan program so that the mortgage company can sell or transfer the loan to the investor that is funding the loan.
The Investor. Funds for most mortgage loans come not from your lender but from other sources. The rules and conditions for various loan types are set by these entities, not by your lender. In rare cases, your lender may contact the fund source to obtain assurance that you meet their criteria or to ask for exceptions to these rules in your case.