Lending Professionals — Loan Processors Getting People to ‘Yes’

Female hands using calculator on an office desk

For many of us, springtime marks the return of baseball, flowers and trees in bloom and a return to our warm-weather wardrobes. But for people like Emily Knudsen, it means the pace and intensity of work reaches its annual peak. Springtime is the busy season for home buying, and Emily is a rising star loan processor at one of the largest credit union mortgage lenders in the US.

Background check

Like many of the most successful loan processing professionals we work with, Emily didn’t set out for a career in financial services. But she’s insightful in describing her surprisingly qualified previous experience: “My best training for this awesome job turns out to have been as a manager at an adult day care center — AKA, a bartender! Seriously, working in retail and food and beverage gives you a whole lot of insight into people.”

“My other training for this job was in retail merchandising” Emily recounts with characteristic energy. “I loved the challenge of hitting and blasting through sales targets and customer service ratings. But I grew frustrated in retail customer service. You can only take it so far, I felt like I needed a fresh challenge and I knew whatever was next had to be working with people.”

Making the move to mortgages

Emily talks about how she made what might seem like an unlikely move from retail sales to helping people get home loans. “I was quietly looking around for something new, and people kept coming into the store talking about how they’d found a great job working with Aerotek. I went to your website, updated my account and resume and got a call from Jeremy in your Pensacola office the next day. Three weeks later I’m learning the ropes of being a mortgage loan specialist.”

Getting to ‘yes’

In the world of mortgage lending, there are professionals called loan officers who source applicants, and there are loan processors, like Emily, who manage the loan application processing. Emily says, “It’s our job to verify an applicant’s assets, employment status and income. We look for anything that might question their qualification for the loan.”

“It’s funny, even though I’ve been a renter all my life, I can identify with what the applicant is going through, since so many of our customers are first time home buyers. It can be a very stressful and confusing process. Our job is to help them navigate the process with as little anxiety as possible, but that’s not always easy. I’ll tell you this — it is so much fun to tell people they’re approved. That moment when we get them to ‘yes’ is one of the happiest moments of their life and sharing that with people makes this job special for me.”

Full circle financial services

Anthony Anderson’s first job in the financial services job sector was at a bank working as a paralegal. “It was quite a different role and a pretty tough job. I worked as a paralegal processing court ordered wage garnishment and property levies. My current job couldn’t be more different.”

How he came by that his current job was a story we’ve heard before from many of our contractors. “I was pretty happy working where I was, working for a publisher here in Pensacola. I had gotten used to receiving emails from Aerotek but not paying too much attention since I was happy where I was. But then I started to get curious about what else was out there, and did a few job searches. I dealt with several agencies like Aerotek, but none of them treated me the way my recruiter Danielle Williams did.”

“Danielle spent time with me and got a good feeling for not only what I was looking for but what I might be good at. Within the month, she found me this spot working with one of the largest national lenders. It’s full circle from where I started out so many years ago.”

Solving people’s problems

Anthony talked about how ultimately gratifying the refinance and loan consolidation process can be for many of his clients, working as he does on the refinance and loan consolidation: “A great example is one of the first loans I looked at, I really didn’t think it was going to work for the applicant. But when I looked closely at their situation, I realized that she was really good at managing her debt. I told her I thought she was in a lot better financial shape than she thought she was. She came to us with the modest goal of being able to afford a new roof. We helped her get approved for a loan that did a lot more for her overall financial health.”

We asked Anthony how it felt to be on the actual lending side of the loan business, helping so many people nationwide. “I think about this every day. I’m so excited to have found a job that is, literally, enjoyable. Going through the loan refinance or consolidation process can be very intimidating for people, especially for those who haven’t been through it before. Being able to make stressed out people happy for a living is something I didn’t imagine I’d ever have the chance to do. The joy we experience in life is determined by the relationships we build at home, at work and in the community.”

We’ve learned over the years that the most successful — and happy — professionals working in the lending industry come from varied backgrounds. But one personality trait many seem to share is a deeply empathetic way of working with people. If Emily’s or Anthony’s stories resonate with your professional path and personal style, we’d love to work with you. Check out our current loan processor opportunities or create your free Aerotek career account today.