Career Detail

Loan Officer
“Show Me the Money”
Loan officers guide clients through the process of applying for a loan.
The Job
For many individuals, taking out a loan is the only way to buy a house, car, or college education. For businesses, loans likewise are essential to start many companies, purchase inventory, or invest in capital equipment. Loan officers guide clients through the process of applying for a loan. The process begins with a meeting or telephone call with a prospective client, during which the loan officer obtains basic information about the purpose of the loan and explains the different types of loans and credit terms available to the applicant. Loan officers answer questions about the process and sometimes assist clients in filling out the application. Loan officers then decide, in consultation with their managers, whether to grant the loan. Most loan officers work a standard 40-hour week, but many work longer, depending on the number of clients and the demand for loans.
Work Environment
Working as a loan officer usually involves considerable travel. Commercial and mortgage loan officers frequently work away from their offices. Consumer loan officers usually work from an office.
College Majors
Finance, Economics, Marketing
Minimum Qualifications
Usually a bachelor's degree. Loan officers without a college degree often advance to their positions after gaining several years of work experience in sales, banking, or customer service.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Sales ability, good interpersonal and communication skills, and a strong desire to succeed.
Quick Facts
  • About 9 out of 10 loan officers work for commercial banks, savings institutions, credit unions, and related financial institutions.
  • Earnings often fluctuate with the number of loans generated, rising substantially when the economy is good and interest rates are low.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of wage and salary loan officers were $54,700 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,710 and $76,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,850, while the top 10 percent earned more than $106,360.
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